TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — An officer involved shooting in West Terre Haute has been ruled justified according to Vigo County Prosecutor Terry Modesitt.
Modesitt called the shooting death of Errol Bolin “not only legally permitted” but also “necessary.”
“I can’t think of a clearer cut situation where legal force is permitted under Indiana law,” Modesitt said incident.
The April 11 incident began with a report from someone concerned for Bolin, 51, of Seelyville. The caller said she was concerned Bolin, who was missing, had been injured or had taken his own life.
Vigo County Deputies found Bolin’s vehicle in a field near Illiana and Brent Hall. While examining damage to the vehicle, deputies came under fire, with shots coming from an area surrounded by trees and bushes.
Additional law enforcement from several agencies arrived at the scene. As they approached the area of the shooter, additional shots were fired in their direction. Deputy Elias Donker returned fire with two shots, killing Bolin.
Donker was placed on administrative leave following the shooting, which is customary.
An investigation into the shooting was conducted by the Indiana State Police. Evidence collected at the scene included a handgun, a shotgun, a sawed off double barrel shotgun and multiple knives. Twenty-one spent casings and cartridges consistent with Bolin’s firearms were also recovered, according to authorities.
“Whether planned by Bolin or spur of the moment, this was an ambush of our officers,” Modesitt said. “We commend the bravery of the officers that moved toward the shooter while he was firing. Deputy Donker did not begin his shift that day thinking that he would be called upon to shoot someone. But when his fellow deputies were pinned down by gunfire, and when he received gunfire in his direction, deadly force was not only legally permitted, it was necessary.”