As we enter one of the busiest travel weeks of the year, this incident is a reminder to be aware of your surroundings, and if you see something, say something.


Just after midnight on November 18, 2023, law enforcement responded to a distress call regarding a disorderly individual in the airport lobby at Evansville Regional Airport. The situation took an intense turn when the suspect, armed with a 4-inch knife, posed a serious threat to airport personnel and property.

Three Law Enforcement Agencies Respond

As officers from the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office, Indiana State Police, and the Evansville Police Department arrived on the scene, they encountered the adult male suspect, who was brandishing the knife in the otherwise deserted lobby. Quick thinking and strategic negotiation became paramount as a Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Deputy, also a trained negotiator, took the lead in attempting to defuse the escalating situation.

For nearly 15 minutes, the negotiator engaged in a delicate dialogue with the agitated suspect, who expressed dissatisfaction with his status in Evansville and an apparent desire to return to his home country. Despite repeated commands to drop the weapon, the suspect remained unyielding, even making threatening gestures with the knife.

Photo: EVV Regional Airport
Photo: EVV Regional Airport

 Suspect Confrontation Leads to Officer-Involved Shooting

Tensions reached a critical point when the suspect, in a sudden escalation, hurled obscenities at the officers, leaped from his seat, and aggressively advanced toward them, knife in hand. Faced with an imminent threat, law enforcement from the Evansville Police Department, Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office, and Indiana State Police collectively deployed a combination of lethal and less-lethal force.

In the aftermath of the confrontation, life-saving measures were swiftly administered to the suspect at the scene before he was transported to a local hospital by AMR ambulance. Presently, the suspect remains in critical condition and under medical care. Remarkably, no officers sustained injuries during the incident.

EPD Protocol

As per standard protocol, the identities of the involved parties and pending charges against the suspect will be disclosed at a later time. Meanwhile, the three Evansville Police Officers directly involved in the incident are undergoing routine procedures, including a hospital blood draw. The EPD Peer Support Team has been activated to assist the officers, who will be placed on Administrative Leave during the ongoing investigation. The community awaits further details and we expect to hear more on Monday.

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