Suspect arrested after fatal shooting at Clifty Falls State Park

Detectives from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division, along with officers from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, are currently leading an investigation into a shooting incident that occurred at the parking lot near the north gate of Clifty Falls State Park. 

The incident occurred on Wednesday when multiple 911 calls were received by dispatchers at approximately 2:48 p.m., reporting the shooting. Indiana Conservation Officers, along with officers from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and Madison Police Department, swiftly responded to the scene. Law enforcement successfully apprehended a suspect upon their arrival.

A deceased male, Joseph Renee Lane, 47, of Carrollton, Georgia, was discovered near the parking lot with an apparent gunshot wound to the chest.

The suspect, John Dean McElwaney, 33, of Tallapoosa, Georgia, was booked into the Jefferson County Jail. He faces a preliminary charge of voluntary manslaughter, classified as a level 2 felony. Before being admitted to the jail, the suspect underwent evaluation and medical clearance.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is receiving collaborative support from several agencies in this investigation. Alongside the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, Madison Police Department and the Indiana State Police, assistance is being provided by the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office, Jefferson County 911/Central Dispatch, Jennings County 911/Central Dispatch, Norton King’s Daughters’ Hospital EMS, and the Jefferson County Prosecutor’s Office.

Under the law, criminal charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty.