Hancock Co. police say shooting victim had cache of weapons

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Police seized what they call a "large cache of assault weapons" from a rural Greenfield house, where a man was shot to death Friday.

Investigators say 57-year-old Gary Roberts, threatened to kill police and others in the community. Police say his wife, Elizabeth Roberts, claims she shot and killed him in their house this morning, in the basement where he stored the weapons and ammunition.

"Very difficult to fathom what we have found here, to put it into words, but a very, very large cache of weapons," says Hancock County Sheriff's Capt. Jeff Rasch.

Elizabeth Roberts called 911 shortly after the shooting and told dispatchers she had shot her husband in their home near CR 800 East and CR 400 South in Hancock County.

Police say Roberts first popped up on their radar screen weeks ago when he had a car accident. After that, he threatened to blow up Hancock Regional Hospital in Greenfield and kill workers at a drugstore there.

"He had recently had some mental issues, dependency on alcohol and prescription medication, that he hadn't been acting right," said Rasch. "The potential was there for some serious harm to take place."

Rasch says police were already planning to get a warrant under the Jake Laird Law to seize the weapons from Roberts' house even before Friday's events.

Jake Laird was an Indianapolis policeman who was murdered by a man with mental problems in August 2004. After Laird's death, lawmakers made it possible to seize weapons when a person is found to be dangerous.

But before police could act, Roberts' wife allegedly took action.

"She came in this morning and felt like things were coming to a head and felt there was a possibility that he may begin to carry out some of these acts," Rasch said.

Police spent much of the day at the Roberts house. The county and state explosives teams were on site after reports there might be C-4 and other explosives in the house. They found some black powder, but no other explosives.

Police are holding Elizabeth Roberts as a person of interest. They will decide by Monday what charges might be filed. There is no word on why she claims she shot her husband.