Suspect shot by police out of hospital, in jail

Jeremy Ross

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Details of a police-involved shooting Friday on the city's east side have been released in a probable cause affidavit outlining two counts of attempted murder filed against the defendant.

Jeremy R. Ross, 37, of Terre Haute, appeared Wednesday morning in Vigo Superior Court 3, where Judge Sarah Mullican set his bail at $150,000 after reading multiple felony and misdemeanor charges filed by the Vigo County Prosecutor's Office.

Indiana State Police at Putnamville are investigating the incident. Troopers report Ross was a passenger in a minivan pulled over for a traffic infraction late Thursday at the Circle K gas station on U.S. 40 near Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

The officer who initiated the traffic stop – Officer Daniel Johnson, a 3-year veteran of the Terre Haute Police Department – said he notified indicators of criminal activity when he talked to the passenger, so he called for additional THPD officers. Officers Marc Phillips, Justin Gant and Sgt. Adam Loudermilk arrived to assist.

Gant and Johnson were on the passenger side of the van when, Gant said, he saw Ross reaching for something between the console and passenger seat. Gant put his head and half of his body through the window to grab Ross's hand, and the officer felt a gun.

A struggle for the gun ensued, with Gant able to put his left pinky finger between the trigger and back of the gun's trigger guard to prevent Ross from pulling the trigger.

At the same time of that struggle, Sgt. Loudermilk reached through the driver's side window to turn off the van, then pulled the driver from the van. Gant said Ross pointed the gun at Loudermilk and tried to pull the trigger. Ross then pointed the gun at Gant and again tried to pull the trigger during the struggle.

At one point, Ross got both hands on the gun and tried to pull the trigger with both hands, police said.

After Loudermilk removed the driver from the van, he went to the front of the vehicle and fired two or three rounds through the front windshield at Ross, the passenger. Officer Johnson also fired at Ross.

Gant was able to get the gun from Ross after the shots were fired. Gant and Johnson pulled Ross out of the van, but Ross continued to resist being handcuffed, the officers said.

Ross then was tased by Sgt. Loudermilk “a few times” but the tase was ineffective, the officers said. Eventually, officers got Ross into handcuffs and waited for paramedics to arrive.

The handgun taken from Ross was identified as a .25 caliber Phoenix Arms Raven.

After obtaining a search warrant Monday, police searched the van Tuesday and recovered another handgun – a Hi-Point .9 mm semi-automatic with serial numbers filed off.

Police said they also found items believed to marijuana joints, three meth pipes, scales, baggies, ammunition, a holster with a loaded magazine, seven shotgun cartridges and .22 caliber ammunition. A test of the supposed marijuana determined the substance to be K2, a synthetic substance.

Ross, who sat through Wednesday's court hearing in a wheelchair with his right arm bandaged, has been lodged in the Vigo County Jail since his release Tuesday afternoon from Terre Haute Regional Hospital.

Ross was charged with two Level 1 felony counts of attempted murder on the allegations that he pointed a handgun at Officer Justin Gant and at Sgt. Aaron Loudermilk and attempted to pull the trigger.

Ross was also charged with two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, both Level 4 felonies, the Level 5 felony of possession of an altered handgun, and the Level 6 felony of resisting law enforcement.

Class C misdemeanor charges filed were possession of paraphernalia and possession of a look-alike substance.

Ross also faces a firearms enhancement and a separate habitual offender enhancement due to his criminal history.

Judge Mullican also noted Ross has a previous conviction on a cocaine charge in Clay County, Minnesota.

The sentencing range for conviction on a Level 1 felony is 20 to 40 years in prison. A habitual offender enhancement can add 6 to 20 years to a sentence.

Ross requested a public defender and will return to court Monday for a hearing to set trial dates.

Indiana State Police continue to investigate the incident, and will submit information to the Vigo County Prosecutor’s Office for review.

Officer Johnson and Sgt. Loudermilk have returned to duty after providing statements to ISP investigators and consultation with THPD command staff, Chief Shawn Keen said.

Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or at lisa.trigg@tribstar.com. Follow her on Twitter at TribStarLisa.