1 Killed In Officer-Involved Shooting In Shelbyville

Posted at 8:33 AM, Aug 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-25 19:48:45-04

A Shelbyville Police officer opened fire on a man holding his son hostage, who then turned his gun on the officer.

It happened on the 900 block of East Lane Street just before 6 p.m. Wednesday.

"They were quiet, a quiet family," said neighbor Robert Barrie who witnessed the shooting, "the son comes out to walk the dog all the time. The mom goes back and forth to work, I think he (the father) was disabled."

Thursday, the family's camper is closed, with a biohazard sign warning others to keep out. That's where police shot 53-year-old Jeff Hosea.

"They threw open that door over there and they rushed in all I heard was two shots," Barrie said.

Police first got the call from a family friend who was on the line with Hosea's 13-year-old son, afraid for his life. Police also spoke with the son on the phone, who confirmed he was being held against his will and was afraid for himself and four dogs inside the camper.

"A young child like that being in the residence and seeing the officers and his father going through this has to be a traumatic experience," said Shelbyville Police Chief Jan Phillips.

Phillips said after a 10-minute standoff, Hosea turned the gun on an officer.

That officer shot and killed him. The chief calls it a shoot-don't shoot situation.

"When a suspect pulls a weapon on an officer and points it at him directly and the officer commands him to drop the weapon, if he does not comply, then the officer has reasonable grounds to use deadly force," he said.

Hosea was no stranger to violence or police. Records obtained by NewsChannel 5 show he held his son at gunpoint when they lived in Smyrna in 2014.

His son told detectives it was the "scariest moment of my life." The report also says Hosea punched his wife after he ran out of pills and wanted hers. Dispatch considered him possibly suicidal.

Two years later, his life ends in tragedy.

"Next thing I know they were dragging him out and tearing all that fence and stuff down," Barrie said, pointing to where police kept Hosea's body.

For neighbors like Barrie it's raising questions such as why Hosea wasn't getting help when two years ago he was sent for a mental evaluation.

"If he was mentally disabled it should've been handled another way I think," Barrie said.

The officer who shot Hosea is a 20-year veteran of the department and has never been involved in a shooting before. He is on administrative leave until TBI finishes its investigation into what happened. 

Agents with the TBI investigated at the scene and interviewed witnesses. They added the scene was not cleared until around 7 a.m. Thursday.

Smyrna Police said they responded to a home on September 28, 2014 on a report of a possible suicidal person. When they arrived at the scene, they discovered that person, identified as Hosea, had two active domestic violence warrants.

Hosea was sent to the hospital for a mental evaluation before being booked into jail.

During an investigation into that 2014 arrest, officials said one of the victims was identified as Hosea's wife, Janet Hosea.

They interviewed her following Hosea's arrest, and she stated the incident had happened due to Hosea being out of pills and wanting some of hers.

She also confirmed her and her son had hid multiple firearms that belonged to her husband. Authorities had collected nine firearms from the home, along with bloodied toilet paper from the assault.

In 2014, Hosea told authorities he was upset because he had run out of pills and thought his wife was monitoring how many he was taking. He added he had not punched his wife, telling officials he must have hit her nose with his forearm by accident.

When asked about the firearms, Hosea had told authorities they weren't his; however, officials said they discovered a safe with multiple private party sales from different people to Hosea for firearms and other equipment.

After a Department of Children's Service referral was completed, authorities noted in an interview with Hosea's son that he admitted his father had pointed a gun at him during the incident preceding Hosea's arrest in September 2014.

The gun in question was allegedly a loaded .45 caliber pistol, which had been pointed at the son's chest, according to the interview.