One Columbus resident is behind bars and another is wanted by police after a Monday standoff in Jackson County.
The Jackson County Sheriff’s Department says that a deputy responded to a report of a burglary in progress in the the 3800 block West of State Road 58 in the Freetown area around 7:53 am. Authorities received a call from the property owner who was watching his home video surveillance system on his cell phone. The property owner told dispatch he was not home, but thought there were two subjects in his garage.
The deputy arrived at the home and could hear people inside the garage. When other deputies arrived on the scene, they attempted to make contact with the suspects, to no avail. After entering the garage, police found a man in a make shift upstairs area in the rafters. They say the suspect was hiding from the officers and would not comply with orders. The suspect then allegedly threatened to shoot police, and himself, if authorities didn’t exit the garage. Due to poor visibility, the officers complied.
Authorities tried setting up a perimeter around the garage. The suspect allegedly continued threatening to fire upon the officers. Police then reported hearing a loud popping sound come from inside the garage. They were unable to tell if they were being shot at, or if the suspect had shot himself.
Other officers arrived to help with a perimeter. As the perimeter was being established, a man fled from the garage into a nearby wooded area. Some officers gave chase, but lost sight of the suspect. Officers with the Brownstown Police Department, Indiana State Police and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department set up a larger perimeter to search for the man.
Officers checked the garage again for any other suspects. Once in the garage, they were allegedly threatened by another suspect that they were going to be shot. This suspect was also hiding in the rafters, and was not visible. The officers were able to exit safely.
Sheriff Mike Carothers spoke with Indiana State Police and requested their S.W.A.T. team to assist with the case. Seymour Police Officers Brian Moore and Bart Beavers also responded to the scene with their S.W.A.T. vehicle.
Officers at the perimeter continued for several hours to make contact with the suspect. The officers gave commands with loud speakers, but got no response. State Police S.W.A.T. arrived, and were within minutes of making entry before the suspect began communicating with Jackson County Officer Rob Henley. The suspect then negotiated with Henley and came out of the garage freely and was arrested.
While in custody the suspect allegedly gave a false name. He was ultimately identified as 28-year-old Travis L. Mitchell. He is facing preliminary charges of Burglary, Intimidation, Criminal Trespass, Resisting Law Enforcement and False Informing. Police say that Mitchell was also wanted on an active warrant out of Bartholomew County for a Probation Violation.
Authorities say they learned that the suspect who fled was 31-year-old Nathan M. Shepherd. He is wanted on preliminary charges of Burglary, Intimidation, Resisting Law Enforcement, and Criminal Trespass. Shepherd is described as a white male standing 5’10” tall with brown hair and beard. He was last seen wearing camouflaged pants and a camouflaged jacket.
Anyone with information on Shepherd’s whereabouts are asked to call the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department at (812) 358-2141.