Evansville man killed by police was having mental episode

A southern Indiana coroner says a man slain by an officer he was threatening with a baseball bat was in the midst of a schizophrenic episode.

An Evansville police officer fatally shot 55-year-old Ricky Ard outside a federal courthouse where he had smashed windows with a bat Tuesday, a day after being escorted from that building.

Vanderburgh County Coroner Steve Lockyear told the Evansville Courier & Press Ard was having a schizophrenic episode and was fixated on an Evansville businessman's unsolved 1977 car-bombing death when he encountered the officer.

A statement from Ard's family says he "had a long, documented history of mental illness."

A preliminary police investigation found the officer was justified in shooting Ard.

A police video shows Ard swinging a bat at the officer before he fired.

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