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Jaime Benavidez, 27
Elkhart, Indiana
September 01, 2013

Agencies: Indiana State Police

Last updated: 8 months ago

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A 27-year-old man is dead after a police involved shooting in Elkhart.

Police responded to a burglary in progress in the 300 block of W. Hubbard Sunday around 2:30 p.m. When police arrived on the scene, they say they saw two men leaving the house, one was armed with a gun.

A 14-year-old male was caught and arrested for misdemeanor resisting arrest in the 300 block of W. Lusher Avenue. The juvenile was released to his father after being arrested. The other person, 27-year-old Jamie I. Benavidez ran to another home on Lusher, where he was fatally shot by police, after the man reportedly pointed a gun at the officers.

On September 1, 2013, the Sunday afternoon of Labor Day weekend, the 9-1-1 dispatch center received notice from a concerned citizen in the 300 block of West Lusher Avenue that there were two (2) “suspicious” individuals, a white male and a possible Hispanic male, one of which had a handgun, in the area. A few minutes later, another call was received by the dispatch center from a person in the 300 block of West Hubbard, just two (2) blocks north of the original call, reporting a white male and an Hispanic male trying to force their way into her neighbor’s house, and “they” had a gun. The dispatch center notified EPD officers of a “burglary in progress,” at which time several officers in the vicinity responded.

Officers Reed and Johnson, EPD, arrived at the Hubbard Avenue scene and attempted to secure the subject residence. Officer Reed observed a white male flee out the front door of the residence and run southwest, ignoring Officer Reed’s demands to stop. Another male, later identified as Jaime Benavidez, also exited the front door carrying a black handgun in his hand. Officer Reed also ordered Benavidez to stop and drop the gun; however, Benavidez refused to do so. A female was also present and standing between Officer Reed and Benavidez during this encounter, precluding Officer Reed from having a safe opportunity to disarm Benavidez. Later, it was determined that the residence on Hubbard was the home of a family member of Benavidez and though the actions of Benavidez and the other white male were unusual, it was determined that neither he nor the white male were attempting to commit a burglary.

Benavidez, still armed, began to run southbound through the yards of several residences in the area of the 300 blocks of West Hubbard, West Concord, and West Lusher, while numerous officers then in the area gave chase. Several of the homeowners in the area reported seeing Benavidez run through their yards, approaching some as they were outside of their homes, while officers pursued and commanded Benavidez to stop and drop his gun. One homeowner reported Benavidez actually entered his residence through a back door and sat down. The homeowner could see a gun in Benavidez’s back pocket and told him to leave.

Upon Benavidez leaving that residence, the chase continued to the front of 328 West Lusher where two (2) of the residents were just entering the front door. Benavidez tried to force his way into 328 Lusher behind them, but the occupants inside the home that had been observing Benavidez and the pursuit, forced the door closed and locked it while others secured the children inside down to the basement for safety.

At that time, Sgt. Karl Miller, Cpl. Bruce Anglemeyer, and Cpl. James Ballard were in different positions at the front of 328 West Lusher with their weapons pointed at Benavidez, commanding him to drop his gun and lie on the ground. However, according to numerous witness accounts, Benavidez raised his gun toward the officers at which time all three (3) officers fired their weapons at Benavidez until Benavidez dropped his weapon and collapsed at the front door.