Police say Elkhart officers fatally shot man who pointed gun at them during foot chase

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ELKHART, Indiana — Police officers in northern Indiana shot and killed a man they were trying to arrest after he pointed a handgun at them, authorities said Wednesday.

Joseph Lee, 32, was wanted on felony charges that he shot his ex-girlfriend's teenage relative. Elkhart city police officers were searching for him Tuesday night when he tried to run away from them at an apartment complex, state police Sgt. Trent Smith said.

Smith and witnesses said officers chased Lee through the complex and that officers shot him after he raised a handgun toward them.

"They kept telling him to stop moving and put his hands up. Joseph put your hands up," complex resident Candace Carter told WNDU-TV. "And he wouldn't."

Smith said seven officers were involved in the shooting, but didn't immediately release details about how many times Lee was wounded or whether he fired any shots. No officers were injured.

Lee faced aggravated battery charges in neighboring St. Joseph County for shooting a 16-year-old, the South Bend Tribune reported. Police said Lee fired several shots during a confrontation early Saturday outside a Mishawaka pizza shop.

The teen was wounded in the face, but doctors told police the bullet didn't break any bones and that he likely wouldn't need surgery.

The ex-girlfriend's family had reported to police that Lee tried the previous day to abduct her 9-year-old daughter outside a South Bend school and called a relative admitting he set an early Friday fire that destroyed her mother-in-law's car and garage.

Lee also was wanted on an Elkhart County warrant for missing a court hearing on criminal confinement and strangulation charges stemming from an August 2013 arrest, The Elkhart Truth reported.

The teen shooting victim's mother, Tarri Holderman, said Lee's death brought both relief and sadness for her family.

"We're extremely happy that we don't have to go through this anymore, but we do feel sorry for his family," she told the Tribune. "We didn't want him dead, we just wanted him caught. We wanted it all over with."

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