A sheriff's deputy from Clark County, Indiana remained in critical condition at University Hospital in Louisville Tuesday afternoon, hours after being shot by a man armed with a shotgun who ambushed officers answering a domestic call in New Washington, Indiana. WAVE 3's Janelle MacDonald reports.
Police got a call at 10:50 p.m. from the wife of 33-year-old Douglas Frakes Jr. about a domestic battery. Frakes's wife and her brother had fled the home, and told police that Frakes chased them.
Police arrived at the scene on State Road 62 at 11:03 p.m. and searched the home, but didn't find Frakes. So officers decided to check the home of Frakes's sister.
Clark County Sheriff Danny Rodden says that's when it appears 33-year-old Douglas Frakes Jr. was waiting in a wooded area for officers and fired on them with a shotgun when they arrived at the scene at 11:03 p.m.
Police told us Frakes had hidden his vehicle to help set up the ambush.
"The perpetrator was waiting in the woods and fired on our officer as soon as he stepped out of the car," Rodden said. "Our officer was just blindsided."
Other officers returned fire and moved Meyer to safety, and he was flown to University Hospital where he underwent surgery early Tuesday morning. He was scheduled to see a neurosurgeon later in the day.
Police searched for Frakes for several hours before finding him dead just before 3 a.m. of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The shotgun blast wounded Officer Mark Meyer in multiple places, including the shoulder, the back of his head and cheek. Some of the shotgun pellets lodged in Meyer's mouth.
Sheriff Rodden says his department is "very lucky and very blessed," because it looks like Meyer's injuries are not life-threatening.
Meyer is a 5-year veteran of the Clark County Sheriff's Department.
Sheriff Rodden says Frakes fired the .20 gauge shotgun, which was loaded with birdshot, two or three times from about 75 yards away -- and Rodden says the distance is likely what saved Meyer's life.
We're told Frakes had been seen at a bar in New Washington -- Hoopsters -- earlier in the day, and Sheriff Rodden said at some point while drinking Frakes decided to either kill his family or police officers.
The family called police sometime about 10:50 p.m. She, along with her brother, ran from the house to escape Frakes, who chased them, but they got away.
Frakes's wife also told investigators that Frakes frequently watched "Cops," and apparently decided he wanted to kill a police officer.
Frakes has a criminal history: in 1995 he was charged with criminal recklessness for shooting at someone. He pleaded guilty and received a suspended sentence. In 1998 he was charged with misdemeanor battery. He received a suspended sentence in that case as well.