NM shooting still under investigation

By David Fenker

NORTH MANCHESTER -- A North Manchester man is dead after an incident with North Manchester Police Department officers Tuesday, March 6.

According to a news release from the Indiana State Police, who are handling the investigation, the deceased is Michael Kline, 40, North Manchester.

Per the release, at approximately 5:58 p.m., NMPD officers initiated a traffic stop on a Chevrolet pickup truck.

The truck’s driver, Kline, stopped the truck in the parking lot of a business at 1601 State Road 114, North Manchester.

According to a March 7 release from NMPD, Officer Parker Stouffer initiated the traffic stop, with Sgt. Nate Birch pulling in behind him. Officer Isaac Adams was arriving on scene when Kline allegedly pulled a gun and aimed it at the officers.

Per the NMPD release, Stouffer allegedly shot Kline, who died on the scene despite first aid administered by the officers and first responders. Neither Birch nor Adams discharged their weapons.

No officers were injured in the incident.

A March 8 release from Indiana State Police said that officers found about 10 grams of methamphetamine, five grams of marijuana and drug paraphernalia in the truck driven by Kline.

According to NMPD Chief Jim Kirk, three officers were involved due to safety concerns regarding traffic stops.

“If there's someone else working, we're trained to back them up,” he said. “Nationwide, it's a very dangerous situation, and that's why we do it … so many people ask why it takes two cars to stop a car; it's for safety reasons.”

Kirk noted that department policy is to place officers involved in shootings on administrative leave for at least two days.
“Right now, [Stouffer is] off most of next week too,” Kirk said. “We're playing it week by week, just making sure he's got enough time off.”

“It's something that no officer ever wants to do in their career … this is a young officer who hasn't even been on for two years, so now he's got to live with it for the rest of his life.”

At least one Fort Wayne television station has aired footage from the NMPD’s body cam, showing what led up to the shooting.

Assisting at the scene were ISP, Wabash City Police Department, Wabash County Sheriff's Department, North Manchester and Chester Township fire departments, Wabash County Coroner and Parkview EMS.

Posted on 2018 Mar 13