Greg Ferency was a veteran police narcotics detective and author who was shot and killed outside an FBI office building in Terre Haute, Indiana.
The federal office building is located near the Vigo County Courthouse. Authorities have not yet released a motive.
The suspect was named as Shane Meehan, a married father who worked as a federal prison employee and once ran for mayor.
The office houses the FBI Indianapolis Resident Agency in Terre Haute. It’s not yet clear whether the suspect knew Ferency through his investigative work.
“Greg Ferency was a good man,” Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter said to MyWabashValley.com. “He worked in this community for many, many, many years. It is a sad day for this community and for the Terre Haute Police Department.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Ferency Was ‘Ambushed’
Paul Keenan, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Indianapolis field office, said in a news conference that the FBI is dedicated to honoring Ferency’s memory “through a meticulous investigation.”
Keenan said that Ferency was ambushed. The suspect showed up before Detective Ferency left the building, Keenan said, explaining why authorities are calling it an ambush.
At 215 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, July 7, 2021, the suspect approached the detective and “fired at him,” Keenan said. An agent inside heard the gunshots and came outside and fired at the gunman. The suspect drove himself to the hospital where he underwent surgery for his wounds, said Keenan.
He had not yet been charged so he wasn’t named yet. The FBI executed several search warrants at the suspect’s home and of his vehicle and they seized multiple items. Authorities said they don’t think there is an ongoing threat and noted that the suspect wasn’t able to make a statement due to his condition.
In the news conference, the mayor called the shooting “senseless,” saying, “It was a chaotic scene.”
2. Ferency Wrote a Book About Drug Enforcement & Edited a Publication Devoted to SWAT Teams
In 2003, Ferency wrote a book called Drug Ops: A Look Inside Drug Enforcement. The book is still available for sale on Amazon.com in extremely limited release.
On LinkedIn, Ferency described himself as, “Active law enforcement officer with emphasis in drug enforcement…Editor of SWAT Digest. Published author of drug enforcement related book. Technical and storyline consultant for Use Meth Lose It All media campaign.”
He was an editor of Swat Digest, which is a publication owned by the International Tactical Officers Training Association.
“The SWAT Digest publication is distributed to over 15 nations and is one of the single most regarded publications focused on the tactical community. SWAT Digest is headquartered in Terre Haute, IN with offices in Jacksonville, FL and San Diego, CA,” wrote AmmoLand.
3. Ferency, Who Was Remembered as a Teacher & ‘Absolutely Dedicated,’ Worked 20 Years as a Narcotics Detective
On LinkedIn, Ferency described his experience, writing, “…veteran in law enforcement… with 20 years as a narcotics detective. The last five years with a federal violent crimes task force.”
His page said that, by the time of his death, he had been in law enforcement for 30 years, working as a narcotics detective for the Terre Haute Police Department.
He was director of Narcotics Training for the International Tactical Officers Association. He studied criminology at the University of Indiana. His LinkedIn page contains some of his writings, including on the Beslan school massacre in Russia and human trafficking.
He was remembered by the Terre Haute Police Chief Shawn Keen as a father of two adult children, a brother, a son, and a “member of our police family for over 30 years.” He added, “You will not meet a finer person… he was absolutely dedicated. There was not anything he did that he did not put 110% into. He was an amazing person. Whether it was about a meth lab or human trafficking, he would do everything possible to find out everything possible about that crime. He was a teacher…he was an amazing person. I just can’t say that enough.”
He taught other officers about risk assessment and human trafficking.
4. Ferency Was Assigned to an FBI Task Force
Keenan said Ferency was a “valued member of our FBI family. He worked side by side with us since 2010 as a federally deputized task force officer.” He was fully deputized to work federal crimes. He was assignment to a gangs and violent crime task force and then worked on a joint terrorism task force.
The Terre Haute Police Department released a brief statement on its Facebook page.
“Detective Greg Ferency, a 30 year Veteran with the Terre Haute Police Department was shot and killed today in the line of duty. Detective Ferency was assigned to the FBI Taskforce on behalf of the Terre Haute Police Department. The FBI is leading this investigation. Please keep the Ferency family in your prayers. Thank you for all of the kind emails, posts, and calls. It is truly appreciated.”
5. Ferency Was Remembered as a ‘True Public Servant’
The detective’s loss shattered authorities.
“I just don’t, I don’t understand,” Carter said to MyWybashValley.com. “I don’t know when this is going to stop. We lost a true public servant today. I don’t just say that as a cliché statement. We owe Greg a debt of gratitude that will likely never be paid.”
Ferency’s top visible post on Facebook was a fundraiser to a children’s foundation.