Published on Aug 31, 2017
Police released video Wednesday showing a man swinging a baseball bat at a police officer before being fatally shot outside a federal courthouse in southern Indiana. Evansville police released security camera video showing 55-year-old Ricky Ard smashing two of the courthouse’s front door windows Tuesday morning, along with video from an officer’s body camera. The videos show at least two courthouse security officers drawing guns but not following Ard as he stayed outside the building and walked away. Other angles show him starting back toward the building after a city police officer arrived. That officer, identified as 11-year police force veteran Kenny Duschke, yelled at Ard and tried to hit him with a stun gun before the man charged at the officer with the bat. The video shows the officer backpedaling and firing about a half-dozen shots. Evansville police spokesman Sgt. Jason Cullum said during a news conference that Duschke appears to have acted appropriately to defend himself.
“When he made the decision to chase after the officer and attempt to strike him with a deadly weapon, unfortunately, he created a situation that led to his own death,” Cullum said. Cullum said Ard had visited the Winfield K. Denton Federal Building on Monday and expressed “concerns about the government.” The building includes federal court offices and other federal agencies. Cullum declined Wednesday to discuss Ard’s complaints. Ard returned about 11:20 a.m. Tuesday to the courthouse in the city along the Ohio River, according to police. Cullum said a courthouse security officer also shot at Ard, but videos didn’t clearly show when that happened. One of the security officers told Duschke to use a stun gun on Ard, but it was “ineffective,” Cullum said. “We know that one of the probes did make impact because as he ran after the officer you can actually see the Taser dragging on the ground behind him, because the probe was either in his clothes or in his person and the wires were still attached to the Taser,” he said.