Shane Meehan is a former federal prison employee and mayoral candidate who is accused in the ambush-style murder of Greg Ferency, 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 office houses the FBI Indianapolis Resident Agency in Terre Haute. It’s not yet clear whether the suspect knew Ferency through his investigative work. The 44-year-old Meehan was charged with premeditated murder of a federal agent, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana said in a press release.
“An attack on law enforcement is an attack on us all. As citizens of this county, we enjoy on a daily basis the security and protection provided by the men and women of law enforcement. That security and protection is all the more precious because it is at times paid for with the lives of those who have chosen to protect us. The selfless dedication exhibited by Detective Ferency throughout his career and his tragic death yesterday is yet another example of why we all owe our respect and gratitude to the members of law enforcement. On behalf of the Department of Justice I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to Detective Ferency’s family and his many colleagues,” Acting U.S. Attorney John Childress said in a statement.
“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.”
When he ran unsuccessfully for mayor, Meehan was featured in a television profile that outlined his concerns about gun violence.
You can read the criminal complaint against Meehan here.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Meehan Threw a Molotov Cocktail at the FBI Building & Then Ambushed Ferency, Authorities Say
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.
The criminal complaint says that Meehan was driving a tan 2003 Ford F-150 pickup trick and “repeatedly drove in the vicinity of the Terre Haute” resident agency of the FBI.
“At approximately 2:03 p.m. on July 7, 2021, Meehan pulled next to the gate at the secured entrance of the parking lot of the Terre Haute RA. Meehan got out of his truck, moved in preparation around his vehicle, and lobbed an incendiary device (a Molotov Cocktail) toward the Terre Haute RA building,” the complaint alleges.
“Shortly after Meehan threw the incendiary device, TFO Ferency walked out of the Terre Haute RA building. Meehan, who was holding a firearm in his right hand, raised the firearm towards TFO Ferency and shot him,” the complaint alleges.
Ferency returned fire but died of his injuries.
FBI Special Agent Ryan Lindgren then ran out of the building and “engaged Meehan in a gun battle,” the complaint says.
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.
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.”
FBI Indianapolis Special Agent in Charge Paul Keenan said in a statement, “I want to offer the deepest sympathy of the FBI to the family, friends and colleagues of Detective Ferency. Greg was a valued member of our FBI family and had worked side by side with us as a Task Force Officer since 2010 in our Terre Haute office. We will work day and night to carefully examine the circumstances of the shooting and we are dedicated to honoring Greg’s memory through a meticulous investigation.”
2. Meehan Ran for Mayor as an Independent Concerned About Gun Violence & Worked in the Prison System
Meehan is accused of “premeditated murder of a federal agent.”
“Shane Meehan, the accused gunman in the shooting of a #TerreHaute police officer, is a former employee of the federal prison in Terre Haute. He ran for mayor as an independent two years ago, finishing last in a four-way race with 1% of the vote,” reported journalist Eric Berman.
He ran on an anti gun violence platform.
A video story on Meehan’s candidacy for mayor said he had lived in Terre Haute his entire life. He retired from the Terre Haute federal penitentiary and was working for UPS in 2019.
Meehan said he wanted to show that a political outsider could win and said schools were one of the biggest challenges Terre Haute faced.
He said that gun violence in schools around the country was a key concern.
“I think a lot of it has to do with the kids and what happens at home and everything else going on around them. It causes a lot of pressure, and a lot of things are happening that shouldn’t be happening,” he said, suggesting that “talking to the kids” would be a solution.
Meehan also said he wanted to balance the budget. Meehan added, “Public safety is doing well right now.” He advocated for more diversity in Terre Haute.
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.”
Ferency’s 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.
Ferency 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.
3. Meehan Had a Cache of Weapons in His Truck, Authorities Say
Meehan was shot two times, either by Ferency or Lindgren. He got into his truck and fled, the complaint says.
He was located at the Vigo County Regional Hospital in Terre Haute, where he underwent surgery for his gunshot wounds.
Authorities found a Smith & Wesson .45 semi-automatic handgun in his truck loaded with one round in the chamber,” the complaint alleges.
Two additional rounds of .45 caliber ammunition were found in the front seat area of the Ford F-150. Also found inside the truck were three Molotov Cocktails, two empty boxes of .45 caliber Hornaday Critical Duty Ammunition, and an additional handgun magazine,” the complaint says.
Ferency was well known in the area of narcotics enforcement.
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.
4. Meehan Is a Married Father of Three Children
Meehan’s wife’s Facebook page is plastered with pictures showing the family, including three children. In 2018, his daughter posted a photo of Meehan and another man on Facebook and wrote, “Livin life and shootin shit up with the strongest men I know 🤙🏼.”
His family’s Facebook and Instagram pages paint a picture of a seemingly normal life consisting of friends, high school sports, and other similar activities.
He’s a father of three and West Vigo graduate, according to MyWabashValley.com.
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.