TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Authorities have confirmed an FBI Task Force detective was ambushed, shot and killed around 2:15 p.m. Wednesday at the FBI Indianapolis Resident Agency in Terre Haute.
Detective Greg Ferency, a 30-year veteran of the Terre Haute Police Department, was shot and killed Wednesday. Ferency was assigned with the FBI Task Force on behalf of the Terre Haute Police Department and had been working with them since 2010.
“Greg Ferency was a good man,” Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter said. “He worked in this community for many, many, many years. It is a sad day for this community and for the Terre Haute Police Department.”
Police arrested Shane Meehan on Thursday in connection with the shooting. According to court documents, Meehan, 44, drove a tan 2003 Ford F-150 truck around the outside of the FBI building throughout Wednesday afternoon. At around 2:03 p.m., he parked the truck outside of the gate securing the entrance to the parking lot.
Meehan then allegedly got out of the car, walked around and then lobbed a Molotov cocktail toward the building. Ferency was the first FBI agent to respond to the cocktail being thrown and went outside. Meehan then raised a firearm in his right hand and shot Ferency, court documents say.
Ferency returned fire at Meehan after being shot, but later died from his injuries. Shortly after the first shots were fired, another FBI special agent ran outside and shot at Meehan.
The suspect was shot two times and then got into his truck and fled to Terre Haute Regional Hospital where he underwent surgery for the gunshot wounds. It is unclear if Meehan was shot by Ferency or the other FBI agent.
A search warrant was executed on Meehan’s truck and officers recovered a semi-automatic handgun along with three more Molotov cocktails and additional ammunition. He is now facing a charge of premeditated murder of a federal agent and if convicted could face life in prison.
New court documents said Meehan had his initial hearing in the case on Friday afternoon at Regional Hospital where he is in custody. Those court documents said Meehan was not fully capable to participate in the hearing due to his physical discomfort and the administration of pain medication.
Meehan was one of four candidates in the 2019 Terre Haute mayoral race. When MyWabashValley.com spoke with him in September 2019, he told us he was retired from the federal penitentiary in Terre Haute and was working for the United States Postal Service.
Below is the full press conference by the Indiana State Police Department.
Ferency is the third police officer to be killed while on duty in the Wabash Valley in the last ten years and four days, Carter said. The previous officers were Brent Long in 2011 and Rob Pitts in 2018.
“I just don’t, I don’t understand,” Carter said. “I don’t know when this is going to stop. We lost a true public servant today. I don’t just say that as a cliché statement. We owe Greg a debt of gratitude that will likely never be paid.”
As of right now this is a federal investigation headed by the FBI with the Indiana State Police assisting. Investigative efforts will now shift toward answering questions such as a motive behind the shooting and attempting to find justice for Detective Ferency.
“While we mourn this devastating loss we are dedicated to honoring his memory through a meticulous investigation,” Special Agent in Charge Paul Keenan said.
THPD will be setting up a memorial display with Ferency’s car on the east side of the police station once the crime scene is fully processed, Chief Shawn Keen said Thursday. Keen also said the department is not aware of any planned funeral services and will give Ferency’s family space to make that decision themselves.
A processional for Ferency took place Wednesday afternoon in Terre Haute, leaving from Union Hospital and ending on 7th Street near Regional Hospital. You can view a video of the processional below.
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Among the multiple community members in attendance was Wesley Owens, who called today a sad day for the community.
“I’m just sad,” Owens said. “It just breaks my heart that something like this would happen. I know officers are always out there to protect us and stuff. It just hurts this happened is all.”
State and local leaders have released statements following Ferency’s death:
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb:
“The tragic events that unfolded today are senseless. 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. Janet and I are thinking of the Terre Haute Police Department, the community and Detective Ferency’s family as I know they will be steadfast in honoring his life, service and dedication to the residents of Vigo County.”
State Rep. Tonya Pfaff (D-Terre Haute):
“There are no words that can truly capture the feeling that comes with losing a pillar of the community like Detective Greg Ferency. I knew Greg from when we attended grade school together, and I’ve had the privilege of teaching his children. He had a heart for service and dedicated himself to keeping our community safe. His memory will live on for years to come in the spirits of those who choose to serve their communities.
“I’d like to offer my thoughts and prayers to Greg’s family and loved ones. Know that the Terre Haute community is here for you during this time of mourning.”
State Rep. Bob Heaton (R-Terre Haute):
“This tragedy is heartbreaking, and I will be praying for Detective Ferency’s family and the Terre Haute Police Department during this difficult time. Detective Ferency was an honorable public servant who will be remembered for his incredible dedication to protecting our community.”
State Rep. Bruce Borders (R-Jasonville):
“We grieve for the senseless loss of one of the Wabash Valley’s finest servants. Law enforcement officers protect our communities and families by putting their lives on the line each and every day. My heart breaks for Detective Ferency’s family at this great time of loss. May our Heavenly Father give them comfort that only He can provide in such a time of grief.”
State Rep. Alan Morrison (R-Brazil):
“My thoughts and prayers are with Detective Ferency’s family, friends and fellow officers. The loss of his life is a pain that can be felt throughout our entire community and state. He is a hero who spent 30 years defending and keeping our community safe, and Vigo County was a better place thanks to his service.”
From Indiana State University President Dr. Deborah J. Curtis and the Sycamore family:
“Indiana State University is deeply saddened by the loss of slain police officer Greg Ferency, a fellow Sycamore who worked for the Terre Haute Police Department for 30 years. The Sycamore family sends its deepest sympathies to Ferency’s family, friends, and those in our community who knew him.”