Yesterday we brought you the story of the fatal shooting in the early morning hours on Sunday in Salem, Indiana. This morning we bring you updates on that story.
On the late hours of Saturday evening into the early hours of Sunday morning (January 27, 28), a fatal shooting occurred at 506 North College Avenue in Salem, Indiana. Officers from the Salem Police Department, Washington County Sheriff’s Department and Indiana State Police arrived on scene shortly thereafter. It was determined that the homeowner, Blake Henry, shot Jacob Mitchell inside of the home. Also, in the home at the time of the shooting, were two adult females. The events that occurred were witnessed solely by those inside the home. Henry and the two females were taken to the Washington County Sheriff’s Department and interviewed by Indiana State Police detectives. Multiple officers and crime scene detectives remained on-scene at 506 N College Avenue until Sunday morning. Given the domestic nature of the investigation, and information learned at that time, it was necessary and appropriate for law enforcement to arrest Henry. He was booked into the Washington County Detention Center in the early morning hours of January 28th on the charge of murder.
Since Henry’s arrest, the investigation continued and the Prosecutor’s Office worked hand in hand with law enforcement to analyze all evidence collected in this investigation to date, to ensure that an appropriate charging decision could be made within the time constraints of the criminal justice system. We learned that Henry had been battered by Mitchell multiple times during the late-night incident. Mitchell also battered one of the females and had shattered a glass cabinet in a fit of rage. One woman inside said she had “never seen anyone act like that before,” and that Mitchell was “hurting everyone inside the home and we didn’t know what he was going to do.” Mitchell was physically charging at Henry when Henry fired the fatal shots. Henry immediately called 911 and can be heard issuing commands to “apply pressure,” as all inside engaged in life-saving measures. Henry repeatedly urged emergency personnel to come quickly to attempt to save Mitchell.
It was learned that the residence is rented by Henry, and he’d allowed Mitchell to stay since Mitchell had gotten into legal trouble in Lawrence County, Indiana, in a case alleging domestic violence against his ex-girlfriend. Mitchell also has a prior domestic battery conviction against a different victim from January 2023 in Lawrence County.
The constitution protects innocent people. Indiana law provides that a citizen has a right to defend themselves and third parties, and the judicial process worked here. After a thorough assessment of the events that occurred, it has been determined that Henry acted in self- defense, and in the interest of justice no criminal charges will result from the investigation conducted in this matter and he will be released from custody today.
The Prosecutor’s Office would like to thank the quick response of all law enforcement involved, as well as emergency management personnel.