A Seymour man accused of fleeing from police and firing two gunshots into the ground to avoid arrest surrendered after a negotiation with a Columbus SWAT team.

The incident began around 4 p.m. Thursday on Columbus’ east side, when Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Deputy Adam Warner was sent to serve a Jackson County warrant on Ian Gardner, 26, of Seymour, after Gardner was spotted near McKinley and Gladstone avenues, said Sheriff Matt Myers.

Ian W. Gardner
Ian W. Gardner

As the deputy approached Gardner to serve an arrest warrant for auto theft, Gardner ran and then pulled out a handgun and fired two shots into the ground, Myers said.

Sheriff’s deputies, Columbus Police Department officers and Indiana State Police troopers converged on the area to try to locate him, Myers said. Several police canine units tracked Gardner after the incident.

After police conducted an extensive search, officers located Gardner in a house in the 100 block of Ross Street, between McKinley and Gladstone avenues, Myers said.

An Everbridge notification was issued asking residents on Ross Street and in a general area surrounding the home to stay inside with their doors closed as the SWAT team officers began negotiating about 6 p.m.

By 6:20 p.m., Gardner was arrested and officers were checking the home. No injuries were reported.

The SWAT team did have to use what Myers said were “impact munitions” or bean bag rounds when Gardner surrendered as he refused to comply with verbal directions from officers, Myers said. Gardner was checked at the scene by medics and was to be interviewed by detectives Thursday night, Myers said.

Officers were in the process of obtaining a search warrant for the house, believed to be occupied by an acquaintance of Gardner, who was not home when the incident happened, Myers said.

Gardner’s weapon, a .38-caliber handgun, was located along with a spent casing jammed in the chamber, deputies said.

Describing the situation as “serious” as it unfolded, Myers said the officers’ goal was to get Gardner off the street without any deputies, officers, troopers or Gardner getting injured.

Myers said this type of incident is unusual, but does represent what every deputy or officer could face every time an arrest warrant is served.

Gardner was arrested on preliminary charges of criminal recklessness with a weapon, possession of a firearm by a felon and resisting law enforcement, jail officials said.

He is being held in the Bartholomew County Jail without bond, jail officials said.

The Jackson County warrant is believed to have stemmed from an accident on the east side of Seymour about 5:35 a.m. March 28.

Gardner faced preliminary charges of auto theft, operating a vehicle while intoxicated, operating a vehicle while intoxicated-drugs, reckless driving and operating a vehicle while never having a driver’s license after the incident, according to Seymour police.

Seymour police said Gardner was driving east in the 1500 block of East Tipton Street at an extremely high rate of speed when the 2006 Chevrolet Impala left the road, struck a culvert and rolled repeatedly.

After rolling for more than 150 yards, the vehicle stopped in the westbound lanes of East Tipton Street, where it was hit by a 2002 Ford Ranger truck, police said. No one in the truck was injured. Gardner was hospitalized after the incident.

Seymour police said the vehicle Gardner was driving was taken from the Columbus area earlier in the evening March 28.

Myers said he commended all the departments and agencies that assisted in Gardner’s arrest, saying the incident could have had “tragic results.”

Author photo
Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.