MITCHELL, Ind. — A Lawrence County man who posted on Facebook that he believed his father was replaced with a robot is under arrest after police arrived at a Mitchell home on Tuesday and found the man’s father lying dead on the lawn.
The Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department stated that Shawn Hays was spotted attempting to leave the scene in a silver pickup truck when deputies arrived on scene. A shotgun was found resting next to him inside the truck.
Hays was taken into custody on Tuesday evening and transported to jail. Official charges have not yet been filed by the Lawrence County Prosecutor’s Office.
According to the sheriff’s department, deputies were called to a home in the 500 block of Easy Street in Mitchell at approximately 6:05 p.m. on Tuesday. Deputies were responding to a welfare check but upon arrival spotted Hays quickly attempting to exit the property in a Chevrolet pickup.
After stopping the truck, deputies reported spotting a shotgun resting in the seat next to Hays. One deputy is said to have distracted Hays while another snatched the firearm. The sheriff’s department said a brief struggle then ensued and Hays was detained until deputies could complete a welfare check on his father.
The body of Hays’ father was then found by deputies laying in the yard.
The Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department has not released the name of the victim but stated the death is being investigated as a homicide.
Various Facebook accounts linked to Hays detail a variety of alarming and troubling thoughts. In one post, written only a week before the deadly shooting, Hays declared distrust in his father writing that he believed someone had kidnapped or murdered his father and replaced him with “a robot that looks like my dad.”
“I need to know for sure that that is a robot that looks like my dad before I shoot at it,” he wrote.
The prosecutor’s office stated charging information would be decided in the coming days.