Hero Who Shot Man Trying To Kill Cop Gets Sued By Criminal's Family

A heroic woman who shot a man attacking a police officer is getting sued.

Ohio County, IN – A heroic woman who came to the aid of a police officer under attack has been hit with a lawsuit.

Kystie Jaehnen was hailed as a hero after she saved the life of an Indiana conservation officer who had been overtaken by a drug-fueled assailant. But now she has become the focus of a wrongful death lawsuit, according to an Aurora Police Department (APD) sergeant familiar with the case.

The incident occurred on Feb. 20, 2017, when a citizen contacted Ohio County 911 at 12:19 p.m. to report that a disheveled man had parked his pickup partially into her driveway, and was blocking a highway lane, the Journal Press reported.

Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Conservation Officer Michael Powell, who had had just finished his shift at noon, was traveling in his marked patrol unit, and heard the call being dispatched.

He responded to the scene, where he encountered 25-year-old Justin Holland rummaging through items in his truck.

Officer Powell asked Holland to come to the back of the pickup, and noticed that Holland was acting erratically, and appeared to be impaired.

Toxicology results later found that Holland had methamphetamine, benzodiazepines, marijuana, dextromethorphan, and methadone in his system at the time of the encounter.

Due to Holland’s behavior, Officer Powell attempted to handcuff him for officer and public safety, at which point the irate man began to resist.

In the struggle that ensued, Holland began to overtake the officer with his considerable strength and size.

“At some point, the officer began to lose that altercation with that person,” Indiana State Police Sergeant Stephen Wheeles told WLWT.

“Eventually, [Officer] Powell was on all fours as Holland was on top of him,” Dearborn and Ohio County Prosecutor Lynn Deddens told the Journal Press.

Holland then reached for the officer’s duty weapon. Officer Powell later said that he felt Holland applying pressure on his retention holster, the Journal Press reported.

As the situation grew increasingly dire, Jaehnen, a concerned female neighbor, raced to the officer’s aid.

“It was at that time that a female... nearby saw what was taking place, and decided that she needed to take action to come to the assistance of that officer,” Sgt. Wheeles told WLWT.

"The female fired one shot from a personally owned firearm at Holland, striking him in the torso," police said, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Jaehnen and her mother, who had originally placed the 911 call, then began performing CPR on the wounded attacker, APD Sergeant William Halbig told Blue Lives Matter.

Holland was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead, WLWT reported.

Officer Powell was also transported for treatment of undisclosed, non-life threatening injuries.

Following Holland’s death, his family acknowledged that he had been “struggling with demons,” WLWT reported.

Despite the fact that Officer Powell had driven a marked patrol unit to the scene, Holland’s family said they questioned whether or not he realized he was fighting with a law enforcement officer.

Holland was facing charges of fraud of a financial institution, fraud, theft, and forgery at the time of altercation, and had previously been arrested for one count of battery resulting in bodily injury.

The assault charge was ultimately dismissed, WLWT reported.

In May, 2017, Deddens announced that Jaehnen would not face any criminal charges for coming to the assistance of an officer in need, WCPO reported. She further explained that Jaehnen had acted in defense of Officer Powell.

Despite the circumstances of the incident, Holland’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Jaehnen, Officer Powell, and the DNR on Feb. 15.

“It is tragic how one person’s irrational and unlawful actions can destroy the peaceful lives of others,” Sgt. Halbig, who is also the President of the Laughery Valley Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), said on a fundraising page he has initiated to help Jaehnen with legal expenses.

“The FOP is an organization that supports solid laws and is essentially all about the fellowship of law enforcement officers, but we also have an obligation to recognize Kystie’s heroic and selfless actions while helping out one of our own,” he told Blue Lives Matter.

Although Officer Powell and the DNR have also been named in the suit, they have access to aid and defense teams that Jaehnen does not.

“Kystie is courageous, and her actions saved a life, and she should be commended, but instead she is being sued,” Sgt. Halbig noted on the fundraising page. “Attorney fees are an expense well beyond Kystie’s income and this will not be a quick process. The legal fees and emotional stress may drain every resource she has.”

He argued that the outcome of Jaehnen’s legal battle signifies “more than the right or wrong of one party suing another.”

“The case is about a person having the basic God-given right and the 2nd Amendment right to defend both yourself and others and without the fear of civil retribution,” Sgt. Halbig concluded.

As of Monday afternoon, the fundraising campaign had received nearly $10,700 in donations. In the event donations exceed the amount needed for Jaehnen’s legal expenses, the balance will be donated to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, and the Police Benevolent Fund, according to the website.

“She needs some support,” Sgt. Halbig told Blue Lives Matter. “If they win, it will be an absolute shame.”

Even if you cannot donate yourself, please help share this story on social media so we can get this hero some help.

Comments (92)
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JBo
JBo

Instead of the family suing this lady for doing the right thing, they should sue some of those "demons" he's been struggling with, or his meth dealer, or themselves for not getting him help.

Marxest
Marxest

She did the right thing from a moral and legal standpoint. But she isn't a police officer and isn't legally entitled to use lethal force which she used. So yes she is liable in a wrongful death suit. In the end it all depends on the jury, no matter what liberal and ignorant conservatives think.

jrsno1fan
jrsno1fan

You said she did the right thing from a legal standpoint but in the next sentence said she isn't legally entitled to use lethal force. Why the contradiction? And yes she is legally entitled to use lethal force. In Indiana you can "use deadly force to protect the person or a third person from what the person reasonably believes to be the imminent use of unlawful force". So how is she not legally entitled?

StandsWithPolice
StandsWithPolice

Contact the NRA they are set up for issues like this and will help the woman. Please send them a message!

Bacon
Bacon

Exactly! What a perfect time to file a frivolous suit! One more case to try to get guns taken away from responsible gun owners. I applaud this woman for her actions, and hopes that someone like her may have my back, if needed, one day.

maggiemoo
maggiemoo

Methamphetamine, benzodiazepines, marijuana, dextromethorphan, and methadone in his system??? OMG Holland would have killed that officer and the family is suing the hero that stopped him! There absolutely is no justice in this country any more. If I had the money I'd pay for every dime of her defense. All this bull has to stop.

Grog
Grog

This is such bullsh*t! Any judge who allows this suit to go forward needs to be removed!

gfc1963
gfc1963

Hope you need the help of someone like this lady in the future. But I guess you'll tell her you can't use deadly force to save you! So she should just stand by and let this cop be killed (which could have happened) just because she isn't a cop? People come to the aid of cops all the time. Good job by the woman.

jwbonazzo
jwbonazzo

What????? So nobody can defend themselves or others WOW??? this is perhaps one of the dumbest statements I think I have ever read!!! Retired Police officer

SteveWallace
SteveWallace

You are incorrect. I know you are not a Lawyer and not privy to all the complexities of the legal system, but yes, lethal force can be used in this and many other situations by a third party. The problem is the legal system still allows lawsuits regardless.

Jarhedz1
Jarhedz1

All Ohio LEO's owe this woman a huge debt of gratitude and need to step up financially. Not only did she endanger her life to protect an overwhelmed officer, she put her livelihood on the line as well.
Moreover, Ohio needs to come to terms with the impact of its use of lethal force justifications. Nobody should be civilly or criminally liable for defending another's life with deadly force.
When legalities impede common sense and punish reasonable acts, you then have a tyranny of law. The message is clear, criminals rule; whether they're street thugs, have a bar license, or wear robes.

jim661973
jim661973

ANYBODY is legally and morally entitled to use deadly force to prevent loss of life, loss of limb or great bodily harm. there is NO LAW anywhere that says otherwise. its not exclusive to LEOs

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

If the facts are as this article reports, then the suit won't be a big deal -- will get dismissed quickly. Maybe the family is suing because maybe it is the only way to get dashcam / bodycam vids. If that is true, then the suit makes more sense.

survivor
survivor

She should file a counter suit against the family

Markb4070
Markb4070

Anybody police or not can come to the aid of anybody being attacked and can use force to stop the attack including deadly force if the person believes such force is neccesary to prevent grave injury or death.

merlin9
merlin9

In Oklahoma, if it was a lawful shoot, the families cannot file for wrongful death.

Sergeant PJB
Sergeant PJB

Priceless answer! Hope he never needs a non-law enforcement person to come to hid aid!

nuccten
nuccten

Another case of family members who wouldn't piss on him if he was on fire now bemoaning his loss and playing the Lawsuit Lottery.

AnotherSeniorCitizen
AnotherSeniorCitizen

Friendship State Bank in Southeast Indiana have an "I SUPPORT KYSTIE" Fund established for donations in her support. Refer to "I SUPPORT KYSTIE" to donate. There is also a GoFundMe page- Kystie's Best Defense. God Bless all her supporters.

CatherineB
CatherineB

Never trust the family of 'the bad guy,' because they are often the REASON the guy is 'bad' in the first place. I bet this guy's family is only after the money. If they had cared about their "loved one," they would have gotten him HELP for his "demons," instead of unleash him on an unsuspecting public.

kclarktx
kclarktx

Sadly, this "family" probably had little to no contact with the perpetrator. This is just a way for a payday for them. If the lady has insurance, most likely they will settle this case without the need to for a jury trial. But, it'll take a while for it to wind through the process. Terrible shame.

JOETUDDA
JOETUDDA

Indiana law allows for the use of deadly force in this situation. How has this lawsuit been allowed to move forward???

wvonmayer
wvonmayer

Where did you come up with that? You do not need to be a police officer to defend life. Imagine you are at a family dinner with uncle Bob and that same individual walks into your home and attempts to kill uncle Bob. You don't say... sorry uncle Bob, I'm not a police officer. Can't help you there... good luck :-p

HenryBowman
HenryBowman

Yeah, the woman “did the right thing.” And what is happening to her is precisely why Massad Ayoob advises, before using lethal force to defend any third party, you should stop and ask yourself whether you are willing to risk total bankruptcy to defend this person. Does that make you selfish? Thank the American legal system.

BurgessKrell
BurgessKrell

She needs to counter sue for emotional damage caused by having to defend someone from a drug-addled wild animal.

jamessina18
jamessina18

Wrong! The Supreme Court has already ruled on this....!!! 🦃🙄

Struggle88
Struggle88

That family has no case. Holland deserved to die and she did the right thing. His family just needs to go away

Gunfighter32908
Gunfighter32908

As a former LEO, I can say with some certainty that you are an idiot. Oh, and, LEGALLY Wrong. STFU.

Doubltap
Doubltap

I have an idea, some anonymous person reading this should go kill the rest of the crooks family! Problem solved! LOL!

No. 51-92
Mr Hugo
Mr Hugo

Not sure about that. Self defense covers Defense of others, so me thinks the police officer theory of the case is not relevant. Ask Andrew Branca, an expert in self defense. Some states grant immunity to defenders, and the family could get hit with sanctions and legal fees.

Resa
Resa

Not necessary to be law enforcement when you see someone trying to cause death or endangering the lives of another. That's justifiable!! If I had been there I would have done the exact same thing to stop a threat and like she did not think twice about it. We the people need to stand up for each other. Folks on drugs are much STRONG and HARDER to take down than the average person. Drugs or drunk gives NO ONE the right to cause Harm to another person!

Jeffrey h
Jeffrey h

Glad she killed him.....his family looks like they are just a f upped

Ceolwynn
Ceolwynn

If I were wealthy, I'd fully fund her and offer to find all the victims of that drug crazed animal in their damaged suit against the parents who created that tumor on society, they should have equal responsibility too.

WabenoBarberShop
WabenoBarberShop

That's why I believe anyone who concealed carries needs to join the uscca Which stands for the United States Concealed Carry Association.... For $25 a month, they take care of everything by chance you shoot anyone. It's a must-have for concealed carry holders. I would not carry without this insurance. Just like I wouldn't drive a car without insurance...

cgov
cgov

My take is that families feel their own failure with relatives like this man and feel they can ease their own guilt by sueing .... Next time a officer is in trouble..hesitation may cost his or her life

Lawman1
Lawman1

Us Law Shield would have covered all her Attoney fees criminal and civil. For just $10..95 per month or $131.40 for the year. It’s to bad she didn’t have it.
It’s unbelievabl that good people have to go through this crap!

KC Vendetta
KC Vendetta

Marxest...do you actually understand what you print? "She did the right think....from a legal standpoint but she's not a cop therefore hasn't the right to use deadly force!" Close enough? EVERYBODY has a right to protect themselves or others if in fear of imminent bodily harm or death! Now....I KNOW the law and my best advise...don't comment further because you don't!