Grandmother, granddaughter killed in shooting at Frankfort, Indiana NHK auto plant


CLINTON COUNTY, Ind. — A Clinton County man is in custody after a shooting at the NHK plant that left two women dead Wednesday afternoon.

The Clinton County Sheriff’s Office said deputies responded to a report of a shooting around 4:15 p.m. Wednesday at the NHK facility located at State Road 28 and I-65. When deputies arrived, they found two women who were killed in the shooting.

The women were identified as 21-year-old Promise Mays and 62-year-old Pamela Sledd. The sheriff’s office says the two are granddaughter and grandmother.

The office said deputies located the suspect vehicle traveling eastbound on State Road 28 into the City of Frankfort. A short pursuit ended with the suspect vehicle crashing inside the road construction area at State Road 28 and Nickle Plate Street.

The suspect was apprehended by officers without further incident. The suspect has been identified as 26-year-old Gary C. Ferrell II.

On Thursday, Clinton County Prosecutor Tony Sommer told FOX59 he is preparing to file charges, and there is a hearing set for Ferrell Friday morning in Clinton County Superior Court.

Sommer also said law enforcement searched Ferrell’s home Wednesday night into Thursday morning. Sommer wouldn’t give an exact address, but Mark Bailey, a Frankfort resident, says Ferrell is his neighbor and he saw the search Wednesday night.

“I couldn’t really give you much of a description of him, just was not interactive at all,” said Bailey.

Bailey said Ferrell had been living a few houses from him for around a year, and in that time, he never had an interaction with him.

“When someone isn’t interactive you don’t expect you’re going to find them on the nightly news having slain two other people at his work,” Bailey said.

He said he didn’t want to be too intrusive, but he saw police cars on the street and the beginning of the search.

“The sheriff’s deputy was coming up to the house and beginning the process of trying to gain access,” Bailey said.

Another neighbor told FOX59 law enforcement was at the house from roughly 10 p.m. Wednesday night to 2 a.m. Thursday morning searching it.

Sommer added that they also have searched Ferrell’s car he used to try and get away in.

Doug Kouns, the CEO of Veracity IIR and a former FBI agent, said investigators will be looking into anything and everything.

“The background, their criminal history, social media, neighbors, friends, family members, associates, anything they can to figure out what motivates this person,” Kouns said.

This is the second workplace shooting in central Indiana this year.

Kouns said they have had more employers reach out to them about what they can do to prepare and prevent shootings like these. Kouns suggests having more mental health resources for employees.

“Perhaps those are all things employers should consider when they’re putting together security plans, contingency plans, because we see these more and more,” Kouns said.

The shooting happened outside the new NHK Seating of America Inc. location. The company recently completed the expansion of its Clinton County manufacturing operations, constructing a new facility that more than tripled the company’s footprint.

The office said the shooting happened during a shift change, with the two victims making their way into work at the time of the shooting. The office believes the suspect and victims knew each other and were all employees at the facility.

I am deeply angered and appalled by the violent crime that took place in our community this afternoon. This behavior will simply not be tolerated.

We are working feverishly with the Clinton County Prosecutor’s Office to gather evidence and statements so that we may move forward with charges in the next couple of days. I want to express my sincere condolences to the family of Ms. Sledd and Ms. Mays. I pray they are in the hands of God this evening and that their families can find comfort in the days and weeks ahead.

To the employees of NHK who witnessed this horrifying scene, our chaplains will be available, as will counseling provided by NHK. Our hearts are with all of you. To my Deputies- ‘the wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion (Proverbs 28)’… This afternoon you pursued evil and you chased him into an unknown, where you safely apprehended him with no harm to yourselves or to others. I am humbled with pride to represent such bravery and professionalism.

To the other responding officers of Frankfort Police and Mulberry, I thank you for following us into the fight. I can’t give our Central Dispatch enough credit for the amazing job they do getting our first responders vital information to render aid to victims and to capture suspects.

I want to personally thank all of the other agencies who supported the Sheriff’s Office this afternoon- the Salvation Army, ISP, FBI, ATF, Coroner’s Office, EMS, Fire, and our wrecker services from Jerry’s and Miller’s. Thank you to our Chaplains for their response to our scene and to our Correctional Staff for their professionalism in receiving the suspect.

Our first responders are all top notch in their respective professions and I am proud to serve with all of them! Please continue to pray for the families of the victims. Pray for NHK. Pray for our First Responders. Love and support one another and stay safe.

Sheriff Rich Kelly

The Clinton County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Clinton County Prosecutor’s Office, Clinton County Central Dispatch, Clinton County Coroner’s Office, Frankfort Police Department, Mulberry Police, Frankfort Fire, Clinton County EMS, Indiana State Police (ISP), Salvation Army, Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and Alcohol Tobacco Firearms (ATF), Jerry’s Wrecker Service and Miller’s Wrecker Service.

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