Indiana police shoot and kill
man during domestic dispute

PoliceOne Staff Report

(EVANSVILLE, Ind.) -- Police shot and killed a man who charged them with a nine-inch butcher knife, yelling "Kill me, kill me," according to authorities.

Jerry L. Bottom, Jr., 27 was shot five times on Saturday near the back entrance of his apartment building at 1726 S. Garvin St. after he repeatedly refused police requests to drop the knife.

Police officers Brent Melton and Daniel Deeg were responding to a call about a domestic disturbance when they saw Paula Austin, Bottom's girlfriend, standing outside the apartment building. Austin is nearly four months pregnant with the couple's child.

She told the officers that Bottom had trashed the apartment and she wanted him out of the house, according to the Evansville Courier & Press.

When Melton and Deeg went into the apartment they found that the television and several windows had been smashed. The two officers also encountered Bottom waving a nine-inch butcher knife at them, Capt. Bill Welcher told the Courier & Press.

The captain said that the two officers repeatedly told Bottom that they did not want to hurt him and to put the knife down, but Bottom refused. when he rushed them with the knife, the two officers shot Bottom five times in the chest and abdomen. He died on Sunday at St. Mary's Medical Center from his wounds.

"They could have done something besides shoot him in the chest," Austin told the Courier & Press.

"You don't use a baton when someone has a knife." Welcher told the press, "OC Spray (pepper spray) is effective against some people, but not others and the effect is not immediate. When you're talking about some guy with a long knife attacking you, it takes too long for the spray to have any effect."

Melton and Deeg are on the standard administrative leave while Internal Affairs conducts an investigation as a matter of department procedure.

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