Pursuit suspect shot, killed by SWAT


A Nineveh man who was a suspect in a multi-agency pursuit was shot and killed Wednesday afternoon near State Road 58 in southern Bartholomew County after fleeing and firing on officers with an assault rifle.

The preliminary investigation reveals that around 11:40 a.m. Wednesday, Brown County authorities contacted neighboring agencies and requested officers be on the lookout for Martin Louis Douglas Jr., 30, of Nineveh, according to a news release from Sgt. Cary Huls, Indiana State Police spokesman.

Authorities said Douglas was despondent, could be armed and was reportedly driving his maroon Ford pickup eastbound toward Bartholomew County, said Huls, public information officer for the Sellersburg Post. It also was reported Douglas might possibly intend to harm one or more acquaintances.

Brown County Sheriff Scott Southerland said his department was first made aware of Douglas after receiving a request to do a welfare check on him at around 11:15 a.m. The caller reported Douglas could be suicidal.

While officers were on their way to do the check, dispatch received another call less than 10 minutes later saying Douglas was driving south on North State Road 135.

“We were looking for him and going through two different people before it got to our dispatch. We were not exactly sure where he was at and when because of that time delay,” Southerland said. “We didn’t have the phone number for the initial caller, the first person. They were going through somebody else who was then calling us.”

By the time officers began searching the State Road 135 area, another call came in less than 10 minutes later saying Douglas was heading to Columbus.

“We had everyone out looking for him, and we did not find him,” Southerland said. “The next thing we heard, he was eastbound on (State Road) 46. All of our people were up on 135, so we called Bartholomew County and passed the information on to them.”

At 11:33 a.m., dispatch told officers a relative was driving behind Douglas and that the relative said he was driving 120 mph. When Douglas passed Nelson Ridge Road at 11:40 a.m., he was driving 90 mph, according to dispatch notes.

An officer with the Columbus Police Department soon spotted Douglas’ truck near County Road 450S and County Road 300W in Bartholomew County and attempted to stop the vehicle, police said.

Douglas, however, refused to stop and fled from the officer.

Other officers soon joined in the pursuit, including troopers from the Indiana State Police Versailles Post and Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department. The pursuit continued on area roads in southwest Bartholomew County and northern Jackson County, where officers from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department joined the pursuit at that time.

Douglas was reported to be driving erratically and at high speeds and had successfully avoided tire deflation devices placed in an attempt to stop his truck, police said.

The pursuit continued toward County Road 300W and State Road 58 near the Walesboro exit at Interstate 65, where Douglas’ truck eventually struck a tire deflation device.

Douglas then allegedly stopped in the roadway and fired approximately 15 rounds from an AR-15-style rifle at pursuing officers.

Officers then returned fire. Investigators believe at least three police vehicles were struck by rounds from Douglas’ weapon in the altercation, including two Columbus Police Department vehicles and an Indiana State Police SUV.

At one point during the pursuit, Douglas went live on Facebook while driving. Sirens could be heard in the background.

“This is going to be the last video I will post and the last anybody is going to see me in person,” he said. “I’ve asked for help from way too many people just to be given up on and left.”

Douglas continued driving north and went into a cornfield near County Road 300W and Deaver Road, stopping his truck several hundred feet off of the roadway.

Officers surrounded the truck, and the Columbus Police Department SWAT team arrived a short time later. The South Zone Indiana State Police SWAT team also responded to the scene as officers attempted to negotiate with Douglas.

Around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday after an approximately five-hour standoff, Douglas left his vehicle and picked up a second AR-15-style rifle from a box in the rear of his truck.

ISP SWAT team members then fired and struck Douglas, who was pronounced dead at the scene by the coroner’s office.

Sellersburg Post detectives and crime scene technicians were called to investigate.

No officers were injured in the incident. This information is the result of a preliminary inquiry and this case remains under investigation as ISP detectives will conduct multiple interviews in the coming days and review any pertinent information and any possible video.

The Decatur County Coroner’s Office also assisted with the investigation.

A check of state criminal court cases shows Douglas had been arrested for some misdemeanor traffic offenses over the past few years. Douglas was a 2009 Brown County High School graduate.

The Brown County Democrat and The Republic contributed to this story.

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