WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - At a press conference Monday morning, West Lafayette police announced that the two officers involved in the police-action shooting of Eric Tendam have been released back to full duty.
The Use of Deadly Force Review Board found that both West Lafayette Police Officers Mark Ridge and Michael Max had no other alternative but to fire shots at Eric Tendam.
Video released today by police - which has been attached to this story - shows 42-year-old Eric Tendam displaying his weapon to police officers as they try to pull him over for riding his lawnmower through streets in West Lafayette.
During the investigation, police made a diagram of the scene. Overall, 10 shots were fired, five hitting Tendam. All ten rounds were accounted for and police said no one was immediately around the area at the time of the shooting. Ridge was more than 60 feet away as he was firing at Tendam. Lt. Troy Harris says Tendam was hit four times between his bicep and shoulder and once on his thigh.
"Even after being shot five times, the subject continued to stand his ground and possess that firearm," said detective Troy Harris.
Police said the department's policy states the use of deadly force is reserved for situations where there is no other alternative available. Only after did police learn Tendam's weapon was a pellet gun, a replica of a firearm.
"We train for these incidents. I can honestly say that I have no reservation about how our officers acted, the action that they took and without reservation I place those officers back in our community to protect and serve," said West Lafayette Police Chief Jason Dombkowski.
Harris said it isn't known if Tendam fired the pellet gun.
Chief Jason Dombkowski says the two officers will complete training exercises today and are scheduled for duty tomorrow.The officers will be reacclimated before being sent out on patrol.
"Quite honestly, we'll get them back to the range," said Dombkowski.
The police department only released part of the patrol car video.
Dombkowski says he didn't think it was in good taste to release video of Tendam being shot.
Both officers had been on paid administrative leave since the March 18th police action shooting.
Dombkowski said the department offers chaplains for officers to talk to and also has pyschological services available. He didn't say whether the two officers spoke to them.
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