Man with gun near school apprehended by K-9, arrested

A police dog apprehended a man who was reportedly carrying a shotgun near an elementary school and tried to evade capture.

Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department deputies responded to a report at 3:48 p.m. Tuesday of two male subjects, one of whom was carrying a shotgun, walking in the area of Taylorsville Elementary School.

Deputy Jarod Aspenson, first on the scene, located the two subjects. The man with the shotgun, identified as Joshua David Prather, 40, of Paragon, threw the gun to the ground and ran, sheriff’s department spokeswoman Judy Jackson said. The other man, identified as Ricky Omar Keith Reed, 21, of 6800 Bonesteel Drive, Columbus, ran but stopped and was detained without further incident, Jackson said.

As other deputies, Indiana State Police troopers and Sheriff’s K-9 Deputy Matt Bush arrived, Bush and K-9 Diesel began tracking the area and located Prather several houses away. After refusing to comply to several verbal commands, K-9 Diesel apprehended Prather, Jackson said.

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Sheriff’s detectives located a double-barreled 20-gauge shotgun, handgun ammunition, a Samsung Chromebook and several other items, Jackson said. Witnesses confirmed that the items had been stolen from a residence in Heritage Heights Mobile Home Park, she said. The property was returned to the lawful owners, Jackson said.

Prather was arrested on preliminary charges of resisting law enforcement and burglary, and remains in the Bartholomew County Jail in lieu of $20,000 bond.

Reed was arrested on a preliminary charge of burglary and remains in the Bartholomew County Jail in lieu of $15,000 bond.

Detectives are continuing their investigation to see if additional charges are warranted, Jackson said.

The school was not placed on lockdown.

Taylorsville principal Sydell Gant said she already had left school by the time the incident occurred, but assistant principal Jake Shaffner was still there and students were at the school for basketball practice. Gant said neither she nor Shaffner were informed about the incident.

A lockdown was not warranted because deputies immediately located the subjects involved and, although they were in the area of the school, both were moving away from the school, Jackson said.

Had that not been the case, the Bartholomew County dispatch system would have been notified to send out an Eberbridge alert, she said.

Detectives Terrance Holderness and William Kinman assisted, as did the German Township Fire Department and Columbus Regional Hospital Emergency Medical Services.

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Kirk Johannesen is assistant managing editor of The Republic. He can be reached at johannesen@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5639.