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October 2, 2013

Government building in gunman’s crosshairs

Man aimed loaded shotgun at Clark County Government Building

JEFFERSONVILLE — A government building in the heart of downtown Jeffersonville was briefly on lockdown Tuesday as a shotgun-weilding man pointed the firearm at the busy facility.

After about a 40-minute showdown with police and a SWAT team, Henry Campbell, 63, Sellersburg, was taken into custody and employees of the Clark County Government Building were allowed to go about their business.

Campbell was preliminarily charged with class C felony intimidation and criminal recklessness and pointing a firearm, both class D felonies, after he allegedly pointed a shotgun from a vehicle parked across from the government center.

Police received a call at 2:29 p.m. after a passerby reported seeing a man pointing a firearm from the driver’s seat of a black Chevrolet Colorado, which had a handicap plate, and was parked in a lot on Watt Street between Seventh Street and Court Avenue.

The vehicle was parked toward Court Avenue where Campbell could have taken aim at people coming in and out of the outdoor plaza area between the rear of the government building and the Michael L. Becher Adult Correctional Complex.

“As we were setting up to attempt communication with him, [Campbell] stepped out of the vehicle and he cooperated with officers that gave him verbal commands to surrender himself,” Jeffersonville Police Detective Todd Hollis said while at the scene. The department’s SWAT team was also called to the area.

Campbell was taken into custody at approximately 3:10 p.m. A loaded shotgun and ammunition to another firearm was later taken from inside and around the truck by investigators after Campbell was taken from the scene.

Police said Campbell is believed to be the owner of the vehicle.

During the incident, police closed surrounding streets and instructed employees and visitors to stay away from windows facing Watt Street.

“We instructed the Sheriff’s Office to secure the building and keep everyone away, so we didn’t have any issue of foot traffic coming in or out of the building or in harm’s way,” Hollis said.

No one was injured in the incident, as government building employees took in the scene, including county Attorney Jake Elder.

“We’re on lockdown here, and there’s probably 15 to 20 officers out there,” he said during the standoff. “They’ve got him surrounded, but he just seems to be sitting there. I don’t believe any gunshots have taken place. Everybody’s just kind of wait-and-see.”

Campbell is reported to have been yelling and talking loudly to himself before he was taken into custody.

Hollis said all communication between Campbell and law enforcement officials before the arrest was limited to officers providing commands to the man.

Campbell, who has no criminal history according to online Indiana court records, was taken to the Jeffersonville Police Department for questioning following his arrest as officials searched for a motive.

— Staff writer Matt Koesters contributed to this report

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