Another man, termed an innocent victim who was driving in the wrong place a the wrong time, was also dead at the scene. Police have identified him as John Neal Shull, 48. They believe he was shot in the initial round of gunfire, possibly before police arrived at the scene and before they returned fire.
Neal Shull, shooting victim
Shull was on his way home when Bailey shot him, according to police. Bailey died of a gunshot wound that may have been self-inflicted. A police K-9 named Kilo was also killed in the shooting, and two officers were injured.
Pendleton is a small town of about 4,000. People know each other here and they’re not accustomed to violence. What happened outside a home Thursday night came as a complete and total shock.
Todd Harmeson, a spokesman for the Madison County Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency, said officers were involved in a routine call around 10:30 p.m. Thursday when multiple shots were fired on Water Street, northeast of downtown Pendleton. It was the start of a SWAT operation that lasted overnight.
While most people slept, the Town of Pendleton was on lockdown. Only daylight revealed the reason why: dozens of high-caliber shell casings, a reminder of the gun battle that took place here.
“It was just like a machine gun,” said witness Pam Smith. She woke up to the sound of gunfire. Outside, she found a neighbor who is also a friend from work.
“She was hysterical. We was walking to the corner and she said, ‘it’s my ex-husband.’ She said, ‘He’s gonna kill me’. She said, ‘He told me to come out of the house,’ that he was going to come in and says that he told her that if she ever left him, that he would kill her,” said Smith.
Jim Kenneth Bailey of New Castle, the woman’s estranged husband, apparently followed her home from work, then opened fire with a fully automatic Romarm assault rifle. Police say he was wearing a flack jacket and had a gas mask. His bullets grazed an arriving Pendleton police officer in the leg. An Anderson officer who came as back-up was hit in both legs. His police dog was shot and killed.
Bailey had “a lot of ammunition. He had a will to injure someone,” said Pendleton Police Chief Marc Farrer.
It was a difficult morning for the police chief and many of the officers here who knew the victim. To add insult to injury, they were not able to remove his body from the crime scene for several hours because they were working under the assumption that the shooter was still in the area and it would have been too dangerous.
Thinking Bailey was on the loose, police set up a perimeter. SWAT teams from six police departments went door to door looking for him. But just after 6:00 am, police discovered Bailey’s body behind the home on Water Street where the entire incident started. About the same time the chief revealed there was an additional victim.
“We do have a…he’s actually a friend of mine,” said Farrer.
Farrer, who was visibly shaken discussing the events Friday morning, said Shull was a good friend. He also tells Eyewitness News that Shull was a member of the local Kiwanis Club and was well known in town.
Neal Shull is described as a man who was at the wrong place at the wrong time, driving home, who happened to get caught in the shooting.
“There is an innocent victim. He’s a resident of the town. He’s been a friend of mine for years…and he is deceased,” Farrer said.
Farrer said Shull was apparently killed by gunfire from Bailey. Autopsies are pending on both men to determine how they died.
The two officers were taken to area hospitals from the shooting scene. An Anderson Police Department officer was taken by air ambulance to St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis with gunshot wounds to the legs. An officer from the Pendleton Police Department returned to the scene after being treated for a graze wound to the neck. The Pendleton officer’s police car was also struck by bullets.
Harmeson later confirmed that an Anderson K-9 officer – a police dog named Kilo - was shot and killed in the incident.
The K-9′s handler, Anderson officer Marty Dulworth, underwent surgery at St. Vincent, according to Anderson Police spokesman Joel Sandefur.
A prayer vigil will be held Friday night at 7:00 pm at the PCC Entire Church Group at Pendleton Christian Church. Organizers sent out this message:
“By now, we believe most of the community is now aware of a tragic shooting in Pendleton last night that has resulted in the loss of two lives. As we watch events unfold in our nation around the recent tragedy in Colorado and then hear the stories of what transpired in our own community, our hearts are saddened. It is in times such as this that we need the comfort of loved ones and our Lord and Savior more than ever.
A prayer vigil will be held tonight at Pendleton Christian Church at 7 p.m. in the auditorium. Please join us as we gather in prayer and community. Please help us get the word out in the community about tonight’s prayer vigil. As our community seeks understanding, comfort, and peace about what has happened in Pendleton, we want to point them to Jesus’ truth and grace and for all to know that He alone is the anchor that holds us firmly in times of trouble and peace. Thanking your for keeping all involved in your prayers and more.”