GREENFIELD, Ind. (WISH) - The Hancock County Prosecutor released a statement Friday detailing the events leading up to a deadly shooting in Greenfield.
Officers said Elizabeth Roberts shot and killed her husband on Sept. 27. Court documents revealed Elizabeth told Hancock County Sheriff’s Department officials that morning her husband of 31 years, Gary, was acting irrational and dangerous. She said he had been drinking alcohol, mixing it with prescription medication, and had a large number of firearms, ammunition, and explosives in their basement.
Thursday, the Hancock County Prosecutor's office determined Roberts would not face charges in the incident, as she was preventing a mass casualty situation by killing her spouse. Friday, Prosecutor Michael Griffin released an explanation as to how officials came to that decision.
According to court documents, Gary Roberts had learned Elizabeth had told law enforcement officials about his weapons arsenal worth more than $1 million.
According to court documents, the gun arsenal included .50 caliber fully-automatic machine guns, numerous assault rifles — some of which were fully automatic — sniper rifles, various other kinds of rifles, numerous shotguns, and a wide assortment of handguns. Gary was also the owner of a federal firearms license and was "very proficient" in the use of his weapons.
Gary then reacted irrationally: loading guns and threatening to shoot police if they came to the home, Griffin said.
Elizabeth tried to stall the situation until police arrived by begging him to not act violently and telling him she would shoot him if he did not settle down. But police took more than 30 minutes to arrive at the home. Gary, in that time, continued to load automatic weapons, the prosecutor said.
Elizabeth feared for the life of others, given his recent violent behavior. Elizabeth also feared that if she only wounded her husband, he would retaliate against her. Therefore, she fired one shot from her .38 caliber revolver into Gary's chest. The one gunshot killed him.
Griffin said Elizabeth's actions were justified under Indiana Code 35-41-3-2(c), which states that a person is justified in using deadly force if the person reasonably believes that that force is necessary to prevent serious bodily injury to the person or a third person.
"I am tired of watching law enforcement officers die in the line of duty; I am tired of mass casualty gun violence robbing children of their fathers and mothers. The madness of mass casualty gun violence has got to stop," Griffin said in the release.
The prosecutor went on to say evidence proves Elizabeth prevented a potentially deadly situation by killing her husband. Therefore, she will not be charged for his death.
"Our community owes Elizabeth Roberts a debt of gratitude that it will never be able to repay," Griffin said in the release Friday.
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