GREENCASTLE -- A Greencastle man was injured Tuesday night when he fell, causing a firearm he was carrying to discharge.
Andrew Fenwick, 19, was riding with Putnam County Sheriff's Department officers when they were called to a domestic disturbance. Fenwick apparently tried to climb down a creek embankment and slipped while the situation was underway.
The gun he was carrying went off, and a bullet struck Fenwick in the upper thigh.
Putnam County Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy Doug Nally said civilians often ride along with officers as observers, which was what Fenwick was doing. In order to do such a ride-along, civilians are required to sign waivers releasing the sheriff's department from any liability in the event the civilian is injured or killed.
Nally said the bullet that struck Fenwick "nicked a non-major artery and didn't hit any bone."
"It was an accidental shooting," Nally said.
Nally said he is not certain why Fenwick was carrying a firearm.
Although rumors were circulating that Fenwick shot himself three times, Nally said Fenwick sustained only one gunshot wound.
Fenwick was airlifted from the scene to Wishard Hospital in Indianapolis. Early Wednesday afternoon, a hospital spokesperson said Fenwick remained in the hospital's recovery area and that he was listed in fair condition.
Fenwick was riding with sheriff's department officers when they were called to 3139 S. C.R. 500E, Greencastle, around 7 p.m. The call was for a "domestic disturbance with reported injuries," Nally said.
When officers arrived at the scene, John Marsee, 47, had apparently barricaded himself in his home. His wife, who was found outside the home, had left the residence and no one else was with him.
Nally said Marsee's wife was injured and that she told officers "her injuries were due to a fight between her and John."
"As the night progressed, negotiators were keeping in contact with John via cell phones in an attempt to get him to come out of the residence and avoid anyone getting injured," Nally said. "(Marsee) was seen throughout the night with weapons in hand and had made numerous threats over the cell phones to any officer that attempted to approach the residence that he would shoot them."
Marsee was arrested without incident at about 12:20 a.m. He was booked into the Putnam County Jail at 1:03 a.m. and was charged with misdemeanor battery and felony intimidation, a jail representative said. As of Wednesday afternoon, Marsee remained in jail and had not yet had an initial hearing.
Marsee's sister, Jennalu Manley, said she witnessed the entire incident. She called the volume of officers that responded "overkill."
"It was a circus," she said. "My brother and his wife had a fight. My brother was sitting in his house and wouldn't come out. He was sitting on his couch drinking a beer. Since when is that a crime?"
Manley wanted to make it very clear that Marsee "never once fired a shot, at an officer or himself."
"My brother was in distress, and this situation just made things worse," Manley said. "He was arrested, but not for shooting anyone."
Nally verified that no shots were fired as a direct result of the incident.
Members of the Putnam County Emergency Response Team, which also includes officers from the Greencastle Police Department, also responded to the scene.
"The accidental shooting that took place during this event is still under investigation as we piece together all the information," Nally said. "The injuries (Fenwick) sustained are not life-threatening or severe in nature."