Written from a press release sent by the Indiana State Police
WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ind. — January 29, 2024
The Washington County Prosecutor’s Office announced today that no charges will be filed in the fatal shooting case that occurred in Salem on January 28, 2024, according to a press release from the Indiana State Police. The initial arrest of Blake Henry, the homeowner, on charges of murder has been deemed unjustified as the investigation revealed self-defense.
Late on Saturday evening into the early hours of Sunday morning, a fatal shooting occurred at 506 North College Avenue in Salem, Indiana. Officers from the Salem Police Department, Washington County Sheriff’s Department, and Indiana State Police responded to the scene, determining that Blake Henry had shot Jacob Mitchell inside the home. Present in the residence at the time were two adult females who were also interviewed.
Henry and the two females were transported to the Washington County Sheriff’s Department, where they were questioned by Indiana State Police detectives. Henry was initially arrested and booked into the Washington County Detention Center on the charge of murder.
Subsequent investigations revealed that Jacob Mitchell had battered Henry multiple times during the incident. Mitchell also assaulted one of the females and damaged property within the home. Witnesses reported Mitchell’s erratic behavior, with one woman stating she had “never seen anyone act like that before.”
As Mitchell physically charged at Henry, the homeowner fired fatal shots in an act of self-defense. Henry promptly called 911, issuing commands to apply pressure, while engaging in life-saving measures. Mitchell’s prior history of violence, both in the current incident and previous convictions, further influenced the decision to release Henry from custody.
The Prosecutor’s Office emphasized that the constitutional right to self-defense played a crucial role in this case. Indiana law acknowledges the right of citizens to defend themselves and third parties, and the investigation concluded that Henry acted within those legal bounds.
The residence where the incident occurred is rented by Henry, who had allowed Mitchell to stay due to legal troubles in Lawrence County, Indiana. Mitchell’s history included a domestic violence case against his ex-girlfriend and a prior domestic battery conviction from January 2023.
In a statement released today, the Prosecutor’s Office expressed gratitude for the swift response of all law enforcement involved, as well as emergency management personnel.