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City officer cleared in fatal shooting

FORT WAYNE – A Fort Wayne police officer used justifiable force when he shot and killed a man who pointed an assault rifle at him last month, the Allen County Prosecutor’s Office ruled Friday.

Jeffery E. Burkholder Sr., a 31-year veteran of the force, shot and killed Stephen O’Neal Wattley II early Feb. 20 after Wattley, 21, ran from the scene of a drugstore robbery on East State Boulevard.

An investigation by the Fort Wayne Police Department and Indiana State Police followed, and the results were then forwarded to the prosecutor’s office.

“The Prosecuting Attorney Office has determined that no charges will be filed as a result, and that the officer involved was justified in using deadly force against Stephen Wattley,” a statement from the prosecutor’s office read Friday.

For more on this story, see Saturday’s print edition of The Journal Gazette or visit www.journalgazette.net after 3 a.m. Saturday.

jeffwiehe@jg.net

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