Prosecutor closes Henderson shooting death case, ruling it self defense

COLUMBUS, Ind. — No charges will be filed against a local homeowner who shot and killed a man who confronted him with a baseball bat inside his home in January.

Bartholomew County Prosecutor Bill Nash said he has closed the investigation into the shooting death of Derek Henderson, 38, of 1803 Home Ave., who was found shot to death with multiple gunshot wounds Jan. 4 inside a home at 2025 Home Ave.

The homeowner, John Noonan, 55, told investigators he was confronted by an unknown person with a baseball bat inside his home, and discharged a firearm, striking the man who was later identified as Henderson. Henderson was taken to Columbus Regional Hospital by paramedics, where he was pronounced dead. Bartholomew County Coroner Clayton Nolting said Henderson was shot three times, with gunshots to the head, chest and abdomen.

Investigators determined that Noonan and Henderson did not know each other. Police have not released publicly how Henderson got inside Noonan’s home before the shooting. It was later determined that both Noonan and Henderson were veterans, police said.

Nash said the prosecutor’s office believes the use of force by the homeowner in the confrontation was justifiable, legal self-defense. “We have nothing at this point to suggest otherwise in this case,” Nash said.

For more on this story, see Sunday’s Republic.