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Greenwood police share video of woman shot and killed by officers

Posted at 11:27 AM, May 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-13 17:15:14-04

GREENWOOD — The Greenwood Police Department has released a video of an incident in March when officers fatally shot a woman.

The woman, Monica Vaught, 49, was shot and killed by officers after police said she drove toward officers inside the parking lot at the police department.

Police originally began chasing her after someone reported a possibly intoxicated driver around 11:15 p.m. on March 29 near Madison Avenue and County Line Road, Chief James Ison said.

The video summary of the incident, which was edited by the department, is the first video of the incident that has been released. On Friday morning, WRTV submitted a public records request for all video, including footage from body-worn cameras, security cameras at the police department and in-car cameras if the cars were equipped with them.

Investigations were conducted by the Greenwood Police Department's internal investigation division and the Johnson County Prosecutor's Office. In both cases, Ison said, "the actions of all officers involved were determined to be lawful," Ison said in a written statement.

All officers involved have returned to work, Ison said.

"It's just sad all the way around," Ison told WRTV. "This is something (the officers) have to live with for the rest of their life. It's definitely not something that ever leaves them. Forever embedded."

Ison said it's unclear what caused Vaughn to drive toward officers.

The Police Department's conduct review board also reviewed the incident and found that one of the officers involved did not turn his body camera on until several minutes after he arrived at the scene.

"This was an oversight during a very chaotic scene. He was issued a counseling form as this was his first violation," Ison wrote.

Another officer was found to have "jeopardized his own safety" by standing in the potential path of a moving vehicle, Ison wrote. "This was not a disciplinary issue, but more of a re-training issue. This officer was counseled and must complete a disciplinary review, attend a Force Science Institute course that identifies psychological factors that officers experience during critical/high stress incidents, and attend a traffic stop safety course."

Ison's statement did not name the officers cited in the review board's findings.

WRTV requested the names of the officers cited in the review board's findings and was told by Ison, "My understanding of Indiana Code 5-14-3-4 governing the release of public records, is that personnel information relating to discipline is only subject to release if the discipline resulted in suspension, demotion, or termination."

"The officers went through a progression with means to deescalate the situation and tried to end it peacefully, but ultimately, their lives were put into danger and they had to react," Ison previously said.

An investigation into the incident was launched by the Johnson County Prosecutor's Office. Friday afternoon, Johnson County Prosecuting Attorney Joe Villanueva released the following statement:

I can confirm that I did receive a large amount of materials related to this incident from GPD, which included document(s) and well as video evidence. I reviewed all those things to make a determination as to whether each of the four officers involved was legally justified in firing his duty weapon under the doctrine of self-defense/defense of another as outlined in Indiana law. The acts of each of the four officers in question did qualify under either self-defense or defense of another. As such no criminal charges will be pursued against any of the officers for the events of that evening.
Johnson County Prosecuting Attorney Joe Villanueva

The officers were previously identified as Sgt. Brandon Cox and Officers Elijah Allan, Ben Louzon and Zane Hennig.

Greenwood police release video of fatal shooting