Columbus police negotiating with Seymour man inside a house

A SWAT team has been activated to begin negotiations with a Seymour man who is inside a home in the 100 block of Ross Street in Columbus.

That man, 26-year-old Ian Gardner went into the home after fleeing from a Bartholomew County Sheriff’s deputy and firing two gunshots into the ground earlier this afternoon.

Police have been searching the east side of Columbus for Ian Gardner, 26, Seymour, since about 4 p.m., when he was spotted in the area of McKinley and Gladstone avenues and a sheriff deputy was sent out to serve an arrest warrant.

Gardner is wanted on a warrant for auto theft, said Bartholomew County Sheriff Matt Myers.

As the deputy approached, Gardner took off running and then pulled out a handgun and fired two shots into the ground, Myers said.

Sheriff’s deputies, Columbus Police Department officers and Indiana State Police troopers converged on the area to try to locate him, Myers said. Several police canine units tracked him after the incident.

“This is a serious situation,” Myers said. “And it’s still unfolding.”

Police are asking individuals along Ross Street and in the McKinley and Gladstone area to remain inside with their doors closed and locked as the negotiations continue, Myers said.

The sheriff asked that people stay away from the area while the SWAT team is in the area for safety reasons.

No one has been injured, he said.

Myers said this type of incident is unusual, but does represent what every deputy faces every time they serve a warrant.

“Our goal is to find him and get him off the street without any deputies, or officers or troopers or him getting injured,” Myers said.

On the morning of March 28, Gardner was hospitalized at Schneck Medical Center in Seymour after he rolled a 2006 Chevrolet Impala, reportedly taken from the Columbus area, multiple times in the 1500 block of East Tipton Street.

At that time, police said he faced preliminary charges of theft-receiving stolen property, operating while intoxicated-drugs, reckless driving, operating while intoxicated and operating while never having received a driver’s license.

Seymour Assistant Police Chief Craig Hayes said Gardner would either be arrested upon his release from Schneck or picked up on a warrant.

For more on this story, check back here or pick up Friday’s Tribune.