Witness Describes Shooting Outside Federal Building

Gunfire in downtown Evansville outside the Federal Courthouse left one man dead on Tuesday. Police surrounded the scene wanting to know what happened and how, but one man said he saw it all unfold in front of him.

The fatal, officer-involved shooting happened around 11 a.m. at the Federal Courthouse.

Anthony Wolfe was waiting at the METS bus stop like any other Tuesday morning when he heard a man and woman screaming outside of the Federal Courthouse.

That got his attention so he went to find out what was wrong.

He then saw an incident he said he will never be able to unsee.

He said he saw a man running towards with a bat, while police had guns drawn.

Then, he said he saw the police fire at the man.


Wolfe was visibly shaken by what he saw. He wasn't the only one shaken by the events.

Cox Law Office posted a sign on their door saying the practice was closed for the day in wake of the tragedy.

More on Shooting

The coroner identified the man who died as 55-year-old Ricky Ard.

Ard was allegedly wielding a baseball bat and tried to go inside the courthouse after being kicked out on Monday.

Police said Ard started breaking the glass with the bat – sending shards of glass into the face of a federal security officer.

An Evansville police officer responded to the scene and another confrontation ensued.

The police officer tried to use his taser, but police said Ard continued to act aggressively. At that point, both officers reportedly fired their weapons. Ard was pronounced dead at the scene.

The names of the officers involved have not been released. Per EPD policy, the city officer will be placed on administrative leave for three days prior to giving a formal statement.

In addition to the baseball bat, police said a knife was recovered at the scene. However, it's unclear what Ard may have intended to do with that knife. Police said this is the department's first fatal shooting of an African-American man since 1975.

(This story was originally published on August 28, 2017)


More Stories

Don't Miss

Trending Stories

Video Center