SALEM, Ind. (WAVE) - Indiana State Police are investigating a police-involved shooting in Salem.
The incident happened near the Washington County Fairgrounds around 2 p.m. Wednesday. Police said a citizen observed a suspicious male on the property, seemingly messing with equipment. That person called Salem Police.
Two officers located the subject in or around Brock Creek on fair property, according to ISP.
When they approached him, police said the man, identified as Mark A. Naugle, 53, of Scottsburg, had a hammer in his hand.
Police said Naugle was coming at them and refused repeated commands to drop the hammer, and at least one Salem officer opened fire. Naugle was shot and killed.
Once the shooting happened, ISP arrived to investigate.
Though the area is on the edge of town, Sgt. Carey Huls with Indiana State Police said people often walk around the property.
“In a small community like this, you know, I grew up in this town myself, so it’s not uncommon to see people walking along the sidewalk here near the fairgrounds, or even kids sometimes can play in the creek, that type of thing - it’s not uncommon. So it doesn’t surprise me. For an adult to be back here, that’s maybe a little bit more peculiar - but again, I wouldn’t say it’s totally out of the ordinary.”
Huls said troopers are collecting evidence at the scene and determining if there is any footage that can be looked at, or any witnesses.
The names of the two officers involved in the incident have not been released. Both have been placed on paid administrative leave while the investigation continues.
Neighbors who live near the fairgrounds told WAVE 3 News Reporter Phylicia Ashley they weren’t surprised a call was made about a suspicious person because the community has become more crowded over the years.
Bobby Richardson has lived next to the fairgrounds for seven years. He said hearing Naugle was shot and killed by police changes how he views his community.
“[I’m] speechless because we don’t really hear about too many shootings around here,” Richardson said. “It’s just calm, more of a relaxing place to come. You hear about somebody getting shot, it’s scary. Shows how bad the world is getting."
Jean Longworth has lived across the street from the fairgrounds for 50 years. She said she used to leave doors unlocked and let children play outside until midnight, but recently there have been more people and drugs passing in and out of the city. She said after Thursday’s shooting, she’ll be making more changes.
“I know cops have to take care of business,” Longworth said. “But the cops practice to shoot to kill, unless there is a weapon there seems there should be a better way to take somebody down than taking their life.”
ISP said it will release more information when it is available. When the investigation wraps up, it will be presented to the Washington County prosecutor to review.