‘Pure madness’: neighbors, law enforcement searching for answers after deputy, suspect shot in New Harmony

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NEW HARMONY, Ind. (WEHT)- Bullet holes and boarded up windows now serve as a reminder of the chaotic scenes that unfolded in a quiet neighborhood in New Harmony Saturday evening.

According to police, what started out as a welfare check on Short St. quickly escalated after a suspect, later identified as former New Harmony Town Marshal and reserve deputy Paul Wiltshire, began shooting at police. Posey County Sheriff Tom Latham called the incident that left deputy Bryan Hicks with critical injuries and Wiltshire also injured “the unthinkable.”

Neighbor Joni Mayhan saw the shooting unfold from her own backyard, saying she heard at least 60 shots fired in a 20 minute period. Mayhan says seeing deputy Hicks down and his fellow officers trying to get him out of the street “hard to watch.”

At an emotional press conference Sunday afternoon, Sheriff Latham asked that the community pray for deputy Hicks and his family, emphasizing that his department will try to “make this situation as right as it can be.”

A day later, Mayhan says it’s still hard to look at the house, thinking about the “lives that were just destroyed in 20 minutes.” Mayhan says her neighborhood is typically very peaceful, saying “you never think something like this will happen, until it happens.”

Mayhan is urging others to keep an eye on their loved ones and keep them close, noting “you don’t want it to ever happen but sometimes life happens.”

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