(INDIANAPOLIS) — An Indiana firefighter who shot his neighbor four times in the chest area following a dispute over a fence acted in self-defense and will not face charges, the Johnson County Prosecutor’s Office said.
The incident was captured on video that was released by the prosecutor’s office, and depicts Indianapolis firefighter Dean Keller and neighbor Jeffrey Weigle engaged in a heated argument on June 27 along a “small section of fence which ran along Dean Keller’s property line,” the office said in a statement.
The situation escalated when Weigle “adjusts a portion of the fence” and then drives away on his lawnmower in the opposite direction. As Keller approached the fence, Weigle turned and drove his lawn mower back towards Keller, and then drew a handgun from his pocket.
“Upon seeing Weigle’s handgun, Keller drew his handgun and fired at Weigle,” the prosecutor’s office said, adding that Weigle fired back.
“Given the aggression shown by Weigle … it was reasonable for Keller to believe deadly force was necessary to prevent serious bodily injury to himself and/or his wife, who was standing nearby,” the statement added.
The prosecutor’s office added that it will still be determined whether Weigle will face charges “if and when he recovers.” More than a week after the incident, Weigle remains in critical condition.
Michael Kyle, Keller’s attorney, told ABC News in a statement that Keller “is a respected fireman who is praying that his neighbor, Mr. Weigle, will survive and live a long, full life.”
“However, Dean does not regret defending himself, his wife, his family and his property against this neighbor whose escalating erratic behavior culminated with Mr. Weigle drawing a weapon in an unprovoked and aggressive manner against Dean and his wife,” Kyle said, adding that Keller “acted reasonably under the circumstances” and is “looking forward to moving beyond this event.”
The neighbors have argued more than a dozen times in the last eight years over everything from the location of a fence to Keller’s dogs, according to Chief Deputy Randy Werden of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office.
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