EPD: Man in custody after officer-involved shooting
Samuel Curry Jr. made several violent threats prior to shooting, police say
EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Evansville Police say an officer-involved shooting occurred at Louisiana Street and Heidelbach Avenue on Wednesday.
It happened around 1:30 p.m.
Police say officers saw a felony suspect, later identified as 36-year-old Samuel Curry, driving around in the area. Officers say they waited for him to pull over at a Sunoco gas station before blocking him in.
According to an affidavit, police obtained a warrant for Curry after he made a series of violent threats to his parole supervisor, his estranged wife, police and others.
Police documents state Curry told the Evansville District Parole Supervisor, “I’m not playing, I’m [gonna] die today and shoot it out with them.”
Police say he also threatened to burn his apartment down if anyone approached him there, killing himself and others.
EPD officials say once officers arrived at the gas station, they began to give loud verbal commands to Curry to raise his hands and not move. Police say Curry yelled back at the officers that he was going to kill himself, which is when officers yelled again for Curry to show his hands and get out of the vehicle.
According to police, Curry leaned out the driver’s side window with a handgun. When officers noticed him pull the gun out, police say they fired shots at him but missed. The suspect then threw the handgun back at officers and quickly surrendered.
Evansville Police mental health officer Mario Reed says Curry was struggling with his mental health.
Typically, Reed says he works with local organizations when dealing with convicted felons who have mental health issues.
“We do a threat assessment,” Reed said. “If it meets this, we take that next step. If it stays at a certain level, then we work on making contact with that person, building a rapport and giving them the treatment that they need.”
Reed says the series of threats eliminated the possibility of starting a dialogue, as it became an issue of public safety.
“They asked him to just come to the parole office repeatedly, they’ve asked him to turn himself in, they’ve asked him to do all these things. The ball was in his court the whole time, and even until that point, he presented a firearm,” Reed said.
Reed says Curry had mental health resources offered to him through his parole, but he was not attending.
Curry was taken to the Vanderburgh County Jail. Reed says there will be mental health resources made available to him as he awaits court proceedings, including a medical evaluation.
Police say no officers or the suspect were hurt in the shooting.
Along with a felony parole violation warrant, Curry is charged with possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon and felony intimidation.
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