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Huntington officer cleared in shooting

by Andrew Maciejewski - amaciejewski@h-ponline.com

The Huntington Police Department (HPD) officer who non-fatally shot an armed robbery suspect on May 25 has been cleared.

Huntington County Prosecuting Attorney Amy Richison determined that Darius Hillman “responded reasonably and committed no criminal offenses when he acted to protect himself, his fellow officers, and the community,” according to a press release.

Hillman was placed on paid administrative leave as Indiana State Police (ISP) investigated the officer-involved shooting and the Huntington County Sheriff’s Department (HCSD) investigated the armed robbery. Hillman has completed all HPD requirements to return to duty, the press release states.

Anthony Tyrell Wilburn, 31, is charged with burglary with a deadly weapon, armed robbery resulting in injury and resisting law enforcement, after police say Wilburn entered Save-On Liquor, 29 Parkmoor Drive, on May 25 around 11:48 p.m. before forcing the clerk to the ground, pushing her across the floor, stealing money and fleeing the store, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Hillman located Wilburn near the intersection of Guilford and Madison streets, approximately two blocks from Save-On Liquor. Hillman pursued Wilburn on foot before he shot and apprehended him near 480 Division St, according to the affidavit.

While being treated at Lutheran Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, investigators reportedly found money in his black clothing.

The clerk reportedly told police she sustained knee and back injuries during the struggle with the suspect.

“She indicated that a male entered the liquor store and he dropped a gun and picked it up… She also stated the gun was black and stated that she was 100% positive that he had a gun,” the probable cause affidavit states.

Surveillance footage from Save-On Liquor reportedly shows the suspect, with his face covered by a bandana dressed in dark clothing, dropping something near the front door.

The clerk told police the suspect was wearing grey and green gloves and a black and white bandana over his face, according to the affidavit.

An ISP crime scene investigator located two grey and green gloves, a black and white bandana, a black hooded jacket, and a black plastic gun in the 1800 block of Guilford Street. The investigator also located money inside a paper bag matching the description from surveillance footage near 480 Division St., where Wilburn was located.

Wilburn is currently in custody at the Huntington County Jail. He has requested an early trial, which is tentatively scheduled to begin July 30 at 8 a.m. in Huntington Circuit Court.

Wilburn is currently facing a Level 3 felony charge of armed robbery and a Level 6 felony charge of theft out of Hendricks County, according to court records. Those records show he is also facing a Level 6 felony charge of theft out of Hamilton County.

Indiana statutes limit police and prosecutors from releasing information beyond what is presented in a probable cause affidavit before trial. This story will be updated as more information is made available.