PENDLETON — Pendleton residents were still reeling Friday after a man on a jealous rampage shot and killed one man and injured two police officers Thursday night before turning the gun on himself.
A K9 officer was also killed.
The gunman is identified as Kenneth James Bailey, 58, of New Castle. Bailey’s body was found early Friday, after a seven-hour manhunt, at the home of his estranged wife Claudia, where the incident, described as a domestic dispute, began.
Restaurants in town were buzzing with news and gossip of the shooting just hours after the roads into Pendleton, which had been overrun with close to 100 heavily armed officers late Thursday, reopened.
Resident Annika Barnes, who lives in Pendleton with her three small children, said that she spent the night listening to police scanners.
“I was terrified for myself, and I was terrified for my children,” she said.
Barnes, who has lived in Pendleton her entire life, said that she
never thought she would see the day when “violence like this” reached her sleepy town.
“I’m not naive enough to think that things like this can’t happen
anywhere,” she said, “but if Pendleton isn’t safe anymore, where
The incident began around 11 p.m. Thursday when police were called to 318 E. Water St., where a man started firing on responding officers.
Pendleton police Sgt. Shane Isaacs received minor injuries within minutes of arriving. Anderson police officer Marty Dulworth, who responded to a call for backup, sustained more serious injuries to both legs. His K9 officer, Kilo, was also shot and killed.
Dulworth was airlifted to an undisclosed Indianapolis hospital for emergency surgery. He is expected to recover.
During a press conference early Friday at Pendleton Heights High School, Pendleton Police Chief Marc Farrer said the shooter had come to town to confront his estranged wife.
But before he took his own life, Bailey, clad in a flak suit and armed with an SKS semi-automatic rifle, shot and killed an innocent bystander, local resident Neal Shull, 49, in his car. Shull had just left his former residence, where he had been making repairs.
Shull, a 1983 graduate of Mt. Vernon High School, owned N.S. Painting Co. and was a member of Pendleton Kiwanis Club, through which he helped organize the annual Falls Park car show.
Angie Reynolds, who lives just a few doors away from the scene of the crime, said she thought children were setting off fireworks in her backyard when she walked outside to discover a gunfight instead.
“We heard what we thought were firecrackers,” Reynolds said. “We just kept hearing them go off, so I went to check things out.”
Reynolds said she quickly realized how serious the situation was.
“As soon as I was out the door, I knew it was gunfire,” Reynolds said. “I had time enough to see a police officer get shot and someone run into my garage before I ran back inside and called 911.”
Reynolds and friend Laura Sego said they hid in the front of their home on the floor before police converged on the scene and evacuated them from the property.
“It was louder than anything I’ve ever heard before,” Reynolds said. “It sounded like war. You could tell someone had automatic weapons.”
Danielle Steele, 30, of Greenfield, was visiting with a friend at Falls Park when the shooting started. She also originally thought that the gunshots were firecrackers.
“I thought people were setting off fireworks,” Steele said. “We didn’t think anything was really going on at first.”
Steele said she and her friend heard intermittent bursts of gunfire for 15 minutes or so before several armed police officers showed up.
“We were just sitting in the park while all this was going on,” Steele said. “We just heard these rapid bursts, which must have been the very first gunshots. We were only a couple hundred feet away and then the police showed up. Their guns were drawn, and they were moving very quickly. One of the officers looked at me and told me to leave. At that point, I knew something major was happening.”
Steele also thanked the officers that warned her, saying they might have saved her life.
“It’s my understanding that by the time they saw us, two other officers had been shot,” Steele said. “They made sure that we were able to leave safely, and I would love to be able to say thank you.”
Steele said she had time to see several more officers heading in the direction of the gunshots before getting in her car and leaving.
Todd Harmeson with Madison County Emergency Management said more than 20 departments, resulting in almost 100 armed officers, responded to the call.
“I want to thank all the emergency responders,” Harmeson said. “They took a tragic situation and quickly turned it around to make the town of Pendleton safe for residents again.”
A 10-block perimeter was set up around the Water Street home for several hours following the shootings, with Ind. 36, 67 and 32 closed while police conducted a home-by-home search for Bailey.
Harmeson said Shull’s death was “a tragedy.”
“He was just driving in the area,” Harmeson said. “He was a civilian that happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time during this tragic event.”
While he would not go as far as to confirm that Bailey had set out to kill, he did say the fact that Bailey was heavily armed and wearing body armor during the shootings could be an indicator.
“That would lead a normal person to believe his intent was to harm people,” he said.