A failed Indiana mayoral candidate who once complained that gun violence was harming America’s youth is facing several charges after allegedly hurling a Molotov cocktail at an FBI officer and fatally shooting a detective.
Shane Meehan, 45, has been charged with premeditated murder of a federal agent after gunning down Terre Haute Police detective Gregory Ferency in a Wednesday afternoon “ambush.” Ferency had been employed as an FBI Task Force Officer for a decade.
Prosecutors allege Meehan, a 44-year-old former Terre Haute federal prison employee who ran for mayor in 2019, staked out the FBI Indianapolis Resident Agency building before eventually throwing the improvised explosive.
When Ferency, a 30-year police veteran, exited the building to respond, Meehan allegedly shot him. Another agent then fired at Meehan.
“An attack on law enforcement is an attack on us all,” U.S. Attorney John E. Childress said in a statement. “As citizens of this county, we enjoy on a daily basis the security and protection provided by the men and women of law enforcement. That security and protection is all the more precious because it is at times paid for with the lives of those who have chosen to protect us.”
“The selfless dedication exhibited by Detective Ferency throughout his career and his tragic death yesterday is yet another example of why we all owe our respect and gratitude to the members of law enforcement,” Childress added.
In an interview with WabashValley, Meehan said gun violence in schools was a major threat to America’s youth. A spokesperson for the Terre Haute Police Department also confirmed Meehan had previously run in the last mayoral election.
“I think a lot of it has to do with the kids and, and what happens at home and everything else going on around them cause a lot of pressure and a lot of things are happening that shouldn’t be happening,” Meehan, who ran as an independent, told the local outlet. He eventually finished last in the four-way mayoral race, earning about 1 percent of the vote.
While authorities have not yet detailed why Meehan opened fire on Wednesday, a criminal complaint obtained by The Daily Beast details how he “repeatedly drove in the vicinity” of the building before pulling up to the gate of the secured parking lot at around 2:03 p.m.
“Meehan got out of his truck, moved in preparation around his vehicle, and lobbed an incendiary device (a Molotov Cocktail) toward the Terre Haute RA building,” the complaint states, stating that Ferency walked out of the building shortly after.
Holding a gun in his right hand, Meehan allegedly shot Ferency, who tried to return fire. FBI Special Agent Ryan Lindgren then ran out of the building to help, engaging Meehan “in a gun battle” and shooting him twice.
“Despite being shot, Meehan got into his truck and fled from the Terre Haute RA building,” the complaint states, noting that officials eventually found him at a local hospital, where he underwent surgery for his wounds. Ferency was pronounced dead at the scene.
Investigators later found a semi-automatic handgun inside Meehan’s truck, which was loaded with 1 round in the chamber, the complaint states. “Two additional rounds of .45 caliber ammunition were found in the front seat area of the Ford F-150. Also found inside the Ford F-150 were 3 Molotov Cocktails, 2 empty boxes of .45 caliber Hornaday Critical Duty Ammunition, and an additional handgun magazine.”
Meehan now faces life in prison. It was not immediately clear if he had retained a lawyer and his family did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment.
“The tragic events that unfolded today are senseless,” Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said in a Wednesday statement. “Our heart breaks for Detective Greg Ferency's family, loved ones and those who served with him every day protecting the residents of the Wabash Valley.”