Police: Man hit, scratched officer before suspect was shot

A northern Indiana police officer who shot and critically wounded a man reportedly opened fire after the man hit and scratched his face.

Police records identify the South Bend officer as Samuel Chaput and the wounded man as 27-year-old Terrance Eppenger of South Bend.

The St. Joseph County Metro Homicide Unit says officers were called to the scene Tuesday evening to investigate a report of an unwanted person who refused to leave.

Witnesses say Chaput was the first officer on the scene and a physical confrontation with Eppenger ensued before Chaput discharged his firearm, striking Eppenger. He remained hospitalized in critical condition Wednesday.

Police records say Chaput reported being hit and scratched in the face by Eppenger before the shooting. The officer was treated at a hospital and released.  (AP)

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