VANDERBURGH COUNTY, Ind. — An man and woman are in custody Saturday morning after they exchanged gunfire with sheriff’s deputies in southern Indiana.
According to the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office, Cade Christopher Kirk, 28, and Diana Elizabeth Ellmers, 27, were shot by deputies Friday night near the Dogtown Tavern along the Ohio River south of Evansville after they shot at deputies. Their wounds are not believed to be life threatening.
No police officers were injured by gunfire.
The shootings and arrests followed an investigation of stolen vehicles and a manhunt that involved Evansville city and State Police.
According to an incident report from the sheriff's office, a deputy responded Friday morning to a report of two vehicles stuck on railroad tracks near the intersection of Duesner Road and Zimmerman Road in Union Township.
A man and woman were with the vehicles, and the man identified himself as Kirk before they both ran down a nearby embankment and through a large creek and got away. Both vehicles were confirmed to be stolen.
Hours later, a deputy located the couple near the Dogtown Tavern on Old Henderson Road and Cypress Dale Road and tried to detain them until additional units could arrive to assist.
That's when Ellmers allegedly stepped behind Kirk, produced a handgun, and fired several shots at the deputy, striking the passenger side window and door of the deputy’s cruiser.
After the deputy returned fire the couple fled the scene, will Ellmers firing more shots at the deputy from a distance before they disappeared.
That's when Evansville Police Department officers and Indiana State Police troopers were called out to help search for the couple. Drones with thermal imaging and an ISP helicopter also responded to assist in the search.
At 8:20 p.m. sheriff’s deputies and Evansville police officers located Ellmers hiding north of the Dogtown Tavern. When she displayed a handgun, two deputies and at least one officer fired at Ellmers, hitting her in the abdomen and arm. She was arrested and taken to the hospital.
Two hours later, Kirk responded to calls for him to surrender that were being issued over the public address system of the Evansville Police Department’s armored bearcat response vehicle. Kirk had also been shot and crawled out of a wooded are to surrender to deputies. He was also taken to the hospital for treatment of a gunshot to his midsection.
The Vanderburgh County Prosecutor’s Office is considering a range of possible charges against Kirk and Ellmers, and detectives expect to keep collecting evidence in the area Saturday morning.
The Sheriff’s Office Professional Standards Unit and CIS will investigate the shootings, which is standard practice for any deputy-involved firearm incident.