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An Indiana woman shot and killed a man as he held a gun to her husband’s head, police said.
Police said the incident happened at a home in Salem on Monday evening around 6:40 pm.
Michael Chastain, 45, drove through the front yard of the couple’s home before grabbing the husband, forcing him to the ground, and pointing a gun at his head, according to investigators. His wife saw the situation from inside the home and shot Chastain with her handgun, the investigators said.
Deputies with the Washington County Sheriff’s Department responded to a 911 call and found Chastain in the front yard with a gunshot wound. He was transported to Saint Vincent Hospital in Salem and was later pronounced dead.
Chastain had dated the daughter of the homeowner at one point, police said. However, the daughter no longer lives at the home, and police said they are not sure why he targeted her father.
Chastain is also known in the area and has a criminal background, Indiana State Police investigators said.
The incident happened on the 7700 block of Organ Springs Road in Salem, police said.
The wife was not charged at the scene, but it is not clear whether charges will be filed against her in the future. Police did not provide the identities of either the husband or the wife.
The case will eventually be handed off to the Washington County Prosecutor’s Office, according to a news release from Indiana State Police.
Salem is a town of about 6,200 people that sits about 100 miles south of Indianapolis.
Indiana has a “Stand Your Ground” law that allows residents to use force to defend themselves.
“A law has been put in place you can use force against another individual,” Sergeant Matt Ames of Indiana State Police told local outlet WTHI in April. “If they believe the force is imminent or it can cause serious bodily harm to themselves or another individual.”
However, Ames cautioned that the law only protects people who act in self-defense, not those who are aggressors.
“People need to realize that if someone knocks at your door,” Ames said. “You’re maybe scared a little bit, but there’s no threat to you, you have no authorization to be using the use of force by getting that gun out and doing something that could result in bodily injury or death.”
In another recent case of a homeowner using lethal force in an apparent effort to defend his family and property, a North Carolina dad protected his young daughter from an intruder this past Father’s Day, police said.
The dad fatally shot a 23-year-old man who entered the backyard of his home where his children were playing and allegedly tried to accost his 11-year-old daughter, according to a preliminary investigation by police.
In some cases where people argued they were standing their ground, they faced charges.
In the summer of 2020, Mark and Patricia McCloskey faced felony gun charges after they drew public attention for emerging with guns outside their St. Louis home while protesters demonstrating against George Floyd’s death marched outside.
The McCloskeys eventually reached a deal with prosecutors to plead guilty to misdemeanors and were later pardoned by Missouri Governor Mike Parson (R).