JEFFERSONVILLE — A suspect involved in a shooting Sunday in Charlestown during a domestic incident has been charged with attempted murder as well as more than a dozen other charges.
Travis Sawyer, 32, of Marysville, has been identified as the suspect in the Sunday altercation that put him and another person in the hospital.
According to online court records, Sawyer is charged with a level 1 felony for attempted murder; a level 1 felony for burglary; a level 3 felony for aggravated battery; six level 3 felonies for criminal confinement; a level 5 felony for strangulation, two level 5 felonies for intimidation; a class A misdemeanor for interference with reporting of a crime and a class A misdemeanor for invasion of privacy.
Multiple agencies responded just before 10:30 p.m. Sunday to a report of a domestic incident on Vienna Road in Charlestown, according to court records released Tuesday afternoon. Two Charlestown police officers first on the scene found a female victim who had been shot in the neck and chest area; she was taken to the hospital for treatment.
Initial responding officers also reported being shot at by Sawyer. One returned fire, and a separate man in the home had also shot at the suspect while trying to protect others in the home.
Records show that Sawyer’s wife, who was staying at the residence with other family members including children, had filed a protective order against the suspect days before the incident. She said she had gone to bed between 9 and 9:30 p.m. Sunday and was awakened by Sawyer pulling on her shoulder.
She said he put his finger to his mouth telling her to be quiet, then grabbed her neck, pinning her to the bed. She tried to wrestle away and saw Sawyer draw a gun. As the situation spilled out into the hallway, other family members became aware, one dialing 911. Sawyer’s wife said she also tried to call 911 but that Sawyer pointed the gun at her and “asked her if she was ready to see God because she ruined his life,” according to court records.
At one point, Sawyer told everyone in the house — six other people — to put their phones on the ground or he was going to kill them. Police dispatchers confirmed hearing a person say this as they were on the phone with the caller, who was hiding in a closet. Dispatch also reported hearing Sawyer making statements about shooting police.
During the confrontation, an adult family member of Sawyer’s wife was shot by the suspect; that is the woman police encountered when they arrived. Also during the situation, that victim’s husband had retrieved a handgun from a safe. That man reported that when Sawyer saw the gun, he tried to leave the house but on seeing police, closed the door and “all hell broke loose,” court records say.
Police say Sawyer then began firing at the people in the home. The shooting victim’s husband fired two shots at Sawyer, wrestled his gun away and hit him in the head as the others were able to flee the house.
The Charlestown officers first on the scene also reported that at one point, Sawyer began firing at them; one officer, Sgt. Kenneth King, said he “could feel rounds go past his head.” Officer Martin Baker reported that when he saw the muzzle flash from Sawyer’s gun, he returned fire and the two officers backed away from the residence.
After that exchange of gunfire, Sawyer retreated into the home. When the SWAT team entered soon after, officers found Sawyer on the kitchen floor surrounded by blood and injured with a gunshot wound. He was given medical attention and taken to University of Louisville Hospital.
Charlestown City Police Chief Tim Wolff confirmed Monday that both officers involved in the confrontation had been placed on paid administrative leave in accordance with the department’s standard operating procedures, due to both the ongoing investigation itself and for being involved in a critical incident.
The case is led by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office; Indiana State Police also assisted in the response along with Charlestown police.
As of Monday, Clark County Sheriff’s office Chief Deputy Scottie Maples said the conditions of both the female victim and suspect were “serious and severe;” however an update on their conditions was not available Tuesday afternoon.
The case remains under investigation. Maples said investigators are working to determine if the suspect had been hit with bullets fired by the male resident of the home, by the officer returning fire, or both.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family repair the house after the SWAT team had to make entry. It can be found here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/house-repairs-after-domestic-violence-episode.