The North Judson man shot by police responding to a call at his residence is in stable condition at Memorial Hospital of South Bend. That’s where 29-year-old Richard Joseph Benwell was airlifted early Tuesday afternoon with what was described as a non-life threatening gunshot wound. Starke County Sheriff Bill Dulin says sheriff’s deputies and North Judson Police were notified by dispatchers of a man hitting his fiancée’s car with a sledgehammer in the 5000 block of 800 South. That’s southwest of North Judson.
Benwell came out of the residence and refused to follow commands from the officers, according to an Indiana State Police detective who was assigned to the case.
His report indicates Benwell tried to go back into the house, was stopped and a fight ensued. An officer’s gun went off twice but did not hit anyone. Benwell was also tased numerous times to no avail, according to the report, after which he was shot once. An ambulance was dispatched immediately, and MedFlight was requested. The helicopter landed at North Judson-San Pierre High School and took Benwell to South Bend.
The Indiana State Police investigation is continuing. Once it’s complete, reports will be turned over to the Starke County Prosecutor’s Office for review. ISP officials note that could take several weeks. The names of the officers involved have not been released.