Prosecutor’s office: Shooting justifiedPublished 7:52pm Thursday, March 1, 2012
Authorities have determined a Berrien County sheriff’s deputy was justified in shooting and killing a Niles man last month during an arrest in Clay Township just south of the state line.
Deputy Trent Babcock shot and killed burglary suspect William Barker, 37, Feb. 13 after a confrontation outside of a home on Wedgewood Drive.
The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department received a tip that a person wanted on a felony warrant was at a hotel on State Road 933.
Police spotted Barker and his vehicle at the hotel and followed him to the parking lot of the Pay N Pakit near State Line Road in South Bend.
Barker then attempted to break into a home on Wedgewood Drive when Babcock confronted him. Babcock pulled a knife and cut the officer’s hand. Babcock then fired shots at Barker.
The St. Joseph County prosecutor’s office ruled it a justifiable homicide and an act of self defense by Babcock, who is expected to return to work Monday, according to Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey.