WATCH: Firefighter Who Shot Neighbor in Self-Defense Cleared of All Charges

An Indianapolis firefighter who shot his neighbor in self-defense has been cleared of all charges, Johnson County Prosecutor Brad Cooper said Wednesday.

“The decision to not file charges on Keller was a simple application of Indiana law and should not be looked upon as condoning the behavior of either party,” Cooper said.

The conflict occurred on June 27 and was captured by a security camera. Cooper said the firefighter’s neighbor, Jeffrey S. Weigle, 59, was clearly the aggressor.

The IndyStar reported that the two men, Weigle and an Indianapolis firefighter named Dean Keller, 49, had clashed over a dozen times since 2009 over a range of things, including the location of a fence, Keller’s dogs and Weigle’s motorcycle.

One incident in 2011 resulted in the arrest of both men on battery charges. During the fight, Keller was stabbed in the arm and Weigle suffered cuts, scratches and bite wounds, according to a police report.

The video of the June 27 incident, taken by a security camera on Keller’s property, shows Weigle on a riding lawn mower as the men yell back and forth across a chain link fence.

Weigle insults Keller and Keller’s wife, Lisa, and Keller returns an insult.

Weigle backs the mower up, reaches into his pocket and pulls out a handgun. He waves it at Keller but does not pull the trigger. Keller draws a handgun of his own and fires it at Weigle, using a thick fencepost as cover.

Keller hit Weigle four times in the chest, and as of July 6, Weigle remained in critical condition at IU Health Methodist Hospital, the IndyStar reports.

“Given the aggression shown by Weigle,” Cooper said, “it was reasonable for Keller to believe deadly force was necessary to prevent serious bodily injury to himself (and) his wife.”

Weigle had stolen the handgun from his roommate, Nancy Phillips, who told investigators that Weigle took the gun from under her pillow before he went out to mow.

“Whether Jeffrey Weigle shall be charged with a crime will be determined if and when he recovers,” Cooper said.

“I was sick that day and didn’t know he had my gun,” Phillips told the New York Daily News.

According to Phillips, the conflict between the two neighbors began when Weigle suffered any injury at work that resulted in the loss of function in one of his arms.

“He had a prosthetic put in his left arm and therefore he couldn’t use it,” Phillips said. “Dean came over when Jeff still had it in a sling and said, ‘What’s the matter with you?’ and Jeff told him and ever since Dean has been a pain in the hiney,” Phillips said.

Keller has yet to speak with the media.

About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over two years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco.

{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Chuck in Phoenix July 15, 2017, 1:16 am

    It’s obvious to me the Fireman went out there looking for a fight.
    He intended to kill the old guy, he should have been charged and let the courts decide.
    Just like a Cop, he was let off because of his job, a regular guy would have went to jail that day.
    I call “BS” on this whole deal.

  • Les July 14, 2017, 12:47 pm

    I kind of wondered about the 9mm vs 45 thing also. I have weighed this matter over the years, consulted with a number of experts. I shoot both. I became convinced that the 9mm (in a modern load/bullet) is nearly as effective as the .45. But lately I have seen some other things that might challenge this. I shoot thousands of rounds each year from both. The difference of impact is obvious. We know that no standard pistol caliber is a powerhouse. But I cannot imagine anyone walking away with four .45 slugs in their chest, no matter where in the chest he was hit. That is not to say I am an expert and have ever seen a number of gunshot victims. I would like for someone here who knows more about this to give their take on it. This is an important topic that has been hashed many times, but it seems worth discussion. I am carrying a 9mm most often. I want to know that I have confidence in it.

  • Lee Elliott July 14, 2017, 11:50 am

    Nothing more stupid than an attempted drive by shooting by an idiot on a ridem lawn mower in reverse with a bug up his ass. The aggressor on the lawn mower even looks stupid from his mug shot. Darwin rules! Another thing. Why did he have to grab his GF\’s gun from under her pillow? Could he not possess legally himself? Looks like he might face 2 charges if he survives. Just because the bed headed cross eyed moron has 4 holes in him, doesn\’t mean he\’s any less culpable. No sympathy here.

  • mauser6863 July 14, 2017, 10:37 am

    Once Upon a Time there were two A-Holes that were neighbors….No good guys here, nothing to see, time to move-on.

    • David July 14, 2017, 3:10 pm

      So true!! Disputes between neighbors are generally the dumbest things but when you own land next to somebody you don’t like there is something that tends to make the arguments way worse. My old law school had a huge donation to set up a conflict resolution center after two different people killed their neighbors over stupid disputes over where property lines were. I thought it was crazy, but turns out it happens all the time.

  • Fly over state July 14, 2017, 9:09 am

    That was some funny shit! Don’t ever pull a gun out unless you intend on using it or someone else may shoot your dumbass. The firefighter needs to get rid of his ball ammo and use some XTP Hornadays. I doubt if he would’ve walked to far then.

  • Nick July 14, 2017, 7:17 am

    4 rounds to the chest and he gets up and walks away? OMG. Sounded like a 9mm being fired. I thought the FBI was returning to 9mm because “it’s about shot placement, stupid” and not round size. Maybe I ought to carry my .45 instead

    • Glen July 14, 2017, 9:08 am

      Not sure if you’re trolling of if you just don’t know that much about wound ballistics, but I guarantee you that there would be close to ZERO difference in wound channels between 9mm or .45. If four to the chest didn’t kill him on scene, it’s because the bullet path didn’t hit anything immediately vital. Did you count how many rounds he fired? Did you note how most of them missed? What’s the capacity of your .45?

    • mauser6863 July 14, 2017, 10:44 am

      Everyone knows that a one armed man on a riding mower (Sounds like a Bad Joke) requires a minimum of an RPG to take down, nothing less will do. Even the vaunted .459 and a quarter Ackley Improved +P+++++++++ will not guarantee complete incapacitation against such a formidable target .

      I know this is true cause I read an article by Col. Mass Sandow Jacobs Jinglehiemer Smith (no relation), who was a Full Captain- General in the FBICIAMOUSE reserve, so it must be true!!!!

      • Steve July 14, 2017, 3:33 pm

        Not Smith it’s Schmidt

  • Dilligaf July 11, 2017, 2:25 pm

    Whenever an idiot pulls a gun on someone, that is threatening a life. Good for the firefighter who did what he did and shot that idiot who was threatening his and his wifes life! Even if the idiot that was shot says it was a joke…..joking or not, pulling a gun and pointing it at someone is not funny. He got what he deserved

    • ron July 14, 2017, 6:18 am

      Good shooting, too!!

    • A.D. Roberts July 24, 2017, 5:55 pm

      Bogus. People pull guns all the time and NEVER fire a shot to prevent crime. It is by itself a deterrent. The Firefighter was much more of an aggressor as all he had to do was walk away. Too bad the system was loaded in his favor. He should have had a chance to face a jury. My guess is that he has also been involved in bar fights. He is SURE he is the baddest guy around.
      Now that he got away with it this time, he WILL try again.

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