Jennings man arrested after firing a gun inside a home


Tribune staff reports

A 35-year-old Jennings County man faces at least four criminal charges after he fired a gun inside his home during an incident Monday night, police report.

Ryan Gootee of North Vernon faces preliminary charges of criminal confinement with a deadly weapon, a Level 3 felony, along with Level 5 felony charges of intimidation with a deadly weapon and criminal recklessness and a Level 6 felony charge of domestic battery, according to a news release from Lt. Mike Mowery with the Jennings County Sheriff’s Department.

The incident that led to Gootee’s arrest began when a woman called 911 at 11:13 p.m. and reported Gootee had hit her and then fired a gun inside his residence on County Road 250E in Vernon Township.

The 33-year-old woman told officers Garrett Hoppock and Drew Heilers that after the incident, she was able to get herself and two children, ages 7 and 13, out of the home and call 911.

While Hoppock spoke with the woman, Heilers drove to the area near the residence to see if Gootee would leave his residence in a vehicle.

A short time later, Heilers observed Gootee’s vehicle leave the residence on County Road 250E, said Mowery, who is the department’s public information officer.

Heilers and Hoppock along with officers from the North Vernon Police Department then conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle in front of the sheriff’s office in Vernon and arrested Gootee without incident. He was being held without bond Tuesday pending his initial hearing in Jennings Circuit Court.

A Level 3 felony is punishable anywhere from three to 16 years in prison upon conviction.

Mowery, Detective Sgt. Jeff Jones and Reserve Officer Chris Gholson assisted with the investigation.

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