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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JCCarlson$
JCCarlson$

As a member of USCCA, your attorney's fees and attorneys for lawsuits are covered. (877) 677-1919

Cjohnston
Cjohnston

This lawsuit should not be. Anyone that is shot or killed during an illegal act should not be able ( our their families ) to file a civil suit. JUST like car insurance or health insurance if you are doing something illegal then you are not insured during the act. SUCH crap!

gsdf3
gsdf3

I hope she counter-sues the shit out of them.

Duder1897
Duder1897

Someone should defend this woman for free. She is a hero!

Ron Keith
Ron Keith

This lady is a hero and I hope she gets a jury who doesn’t award the family of this monster a penny. Governor Holcomb should give her the Sagamore of the Wabash award the highest honor Indiana bestows to a person who renders distinguished service. This brave lady saved the life of a law enforcement officer and now faces a wrongful death suite. How unfair is that?

sysadminpgh
sysadminpgh

Anybody can file a lawsuit against someone BUT I'll bet at the first hearing it will be thrown out. Shame we don't have reforms that the loser pays. It would stop these silly lawsuits in their tracks.

mystic1930
mystic1930

that is not the right thing to do - any good judge would throw out their suit

lmr111702
lmr111702

There is a Go Fund Me page for her defense. Please visit and donate. Anything will help. I gave. Will you?

DoubleG
DoubleG

We need to get this in front of President Trump. He will help her too. All LEO organizations should donate to her cause. Back the Blue!

ecc
ecc

Doesn't matter that she was home and doesn't matter what kind of weapon. She would be covered. These kinds of incidents would (sadly) make good ads for self defense insurance.

No. 76-92
XnGunCop55
XnGunCop55

What low life attorney would even take this case against this hero to begin with?

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

One who doubts that the interested witnesses are telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Because sometimes witnesses lie -- and sometimes the only way to discover the lies is through a civil suit.

KLR1968
KLR1968

The FOP should pay 100% of her legal bills.

CloserFocus
CloserFocus

Only in America folks! Where wrong is right & ‘right’ is questioned, if not downright tossed to the toilet. These days are shameful, at best, for this once great country. If this isn’t tossed out at 1st appearance, what a JOKE! One less druggie to deal with. He would have killed himself with that, anyway. No doubt caused others a ton of hurt & harm, but hey, that’s OK! His sad, sick family just sees it as an opportunity to feed their own bad habits. Losers, in their own right. Country is Full of them now.

Susanmiller64
Susanmiller64

I would love to be on the jury for this, not only would I say she was in the right but i would award her damages for the family being so stupid. if you fight against a police officer then they or anyone watching has the right to do what is needed to protect them. bad guy loses.

Batt
Batt

But the preponderance of evidence is solid. And the article did not mention a body cam or dash cam, but I bet one or the other was active. All in all, it is a really stupid lawsuit.

Shoot them all
Shoot them all

So your saying everybody lied he wasn't on meth he didn't attack the police officer, he didn't resist arrest. They just jumped on and killed him to see if they could get by with it. Can you imagine what she's going through having killed someone and now this. Come on what if it were you.

Jeannev911
Jeannev911

Please support this lady. People amped up on the stuff he was amped up on can kill people. I’ve seen it happen.

FORUMANDBRIM
FORUMANDBRIM

Kystie Jaehnen is a hero. I guarantee more than one special interest group got their lawyers together to convince the family of the deceased to sue so they could make an example of her. Gun control advocates would be a no brainer, but for all we know, it could also be attorneys pushing concealed carry insurance. If we had some real investigative reporters still around, we might uncover that.

WELanning
WELanning

What are you saying? That there is a rampant abuse of methamphetamine, benzodiazepines, marijuana, dextromethorphan, and methadone in Ohio County, IN, PRMath?

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@realnews take your autistic mouthbreathing ass on somewhere else, you fucking clown.

Cali Curmudgeon
Cali Curmudgeon

Here in California, the Commiecrats would side with the criminal. Is Indiana any better? I can only think so!