Indiana Detective on U.S. Task Force Is Fatally Shot, F.B.I. Says

The gunman threw a Molotov cocktail at an F.B.I. building and then fatally shot a Terre Haute Police Department veteran who was also a member of an F.B.I. task force, prosecutors said.,

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A police detective in Indiana who worked on a Federal Bureau of Investigation task force was “ambushed” and fatally shot Wednesday afternoon, a spokeswoman for the F.B.I. said in a statement.

Officials identified the detective as Greg Ferency, a 30-year veteran of the Police Department in the city of Terre Haute, about 77 miles west of Indianapolis, and a member of the F.B.I. task force since 2010. Christine Bavender, the F.B.I. spokeswoman, said the shooting had occurred near the federal building in downtown Terre Haute around 2:15 p.m.

Officials on Thursday identified the suspect as Shane Meehan, 44. He is charged with one count of premeditated murder of a federal agent, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, according to the U.S. attorney’s office in southern Indiana.

An affidavit in support of a criminal complaint filed on Wednesday in the U.S. District Court in southern Indiana briefly described what federal authorities said that Mr. Meehan did on Wednesday. Just after 2 p.m., it said, Mr. Meehan drove his truck to an F.B.I. satellite office in Terre Haute and threw a Molotov cocktail at it. Moments later, Detective Ferency left the building, and Mr. Meehan fatally shot him, the document said.

“Shortly thereafter, an F.B.I. special agent ran out of the building and engaged Meehan in a gun battle,” the affidavit said. Despite being shot twice, Mr. Meehan got into his truck and left, it said. Law enforcement officials later tracked him down at the Vigo County Regional Hospital, where he was being treated for his wounds, the affidavit said. In Mr. Meehan’s pickup truck were three Molotov cocktails and ammunition, the affidavit said.

The U.S. attorney’s office did not offer a possible motive for the attack. Monica Foster, a lawyer for Mr. Meehan, declined to comment on Thursday evening.

On Wednesday, Sgt. Ryan Adamson of the Terre Haute Police Department wrote on Twitter that Detective Ferency “was killed in the line of duty today.”

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Detective Greg Ferency was a 30-year veteran of the Terre Haute Police Department.Credit…Terre Haute Police Department

Gov. Eric Holcomb expressed his condolences on Wednesday and called the shooting “tragic” and “senseless.” Senator Mike Braun wrote on Twitter that Detective Ferency had been “doing what he has done for 30 years: selflessly protecting and serving his community.”

“We lost a true public servant today,” the Indiana State Police superintendent, Douglas G. Carter, said in a brief news conference on Wednesday afternoon. He went on to say that attacks on law enforcement officers were becoming more common and that “it’s not a good time to be a police officer in America.”

So far this year, 161 law enforcement officials have died in the line of duty, 29 of them by gunfire, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page, a nonprofit organization that tracks the data. In 2020, 369 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty, 45 of them by intentional gunfire, it said.

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