Wednesday, January 24, 2001

Ind. man dies in hostage situation

Shot by police after pointing gun

By William A. Weathers
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        CONNERSVILLE, Ind. — A 27-year-old man was shot and killed by two city police officers early Tuesday after the man allegedly pointed a gun at the officers during a hostage situation.

        Indiana State Police identified the man killed as Elcer Boone Pursifull III.

        The two officers, along with officers from the Indiana State Police and the Fayette County Sheriff's Office, responded to a report of an armed man making threats at a residence in the 500 block of West 7th Street at about 4 a.m.

        When sheriff's deputies arrived they watched a fight taking place inside the residence between the suspect and three occupants of the house, state police said. The suspect was holding Charles D. Centers and his wife, Betty L. Centers, both 44, and their 15-year-old son, Charles Douglas Centers, against their will, state police said.

        After a brief time, Mrs. Centers exited through the front door safely. Officers then watched the suspect beating Mr. Centers about the head with a handgun, state police said.

        A few minutes later, the suspect exited the residence and was ordered by two Connersville officers to drop his weapon, state police said.

        The suspect turned toward the officers and pointed his handgun at them and the two officers fired their guns, state police said. The man was pronounced dead of multiple gunshot wounds at the scene. A .357 Magnum was recoved.

        The two officers involved in the shooting were Capt. David Counceller, 47, with the department since June 1980, and Officer Harold Michael McCreary, 24, with the department since July 1999. Both are now on administrative leave.

        Indiana State Police are investigating the incident. An autopsy is scheduled for today at the Indiana University Medical Center.


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