DATE: Saturday, September 26, 2020
SUBJECT: Man and Woman Shot after Attempt to Kill a Sheriff’s Deputy
CONTACT: Colonel Noah Robinson
AUTHORITY: Sheriff Dave Wedding

A man and woman are in custody this morning after an exchange of gunfire with sheriff’s deputies.

On Friday, September 25, 2020 at 8:45AM a Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office deputy responded to a report of two vehicles stuck on railroad tracks near the intersection of Duesner Road and Zimmerman Road in Union Township. Upon arriving, the deputy located a male and female with the vehicles. The male identified himself as Mr. Cade Christopher Kirk, 28. Before the deputy could investigate further, both suspects fled down a nearby embankment and through a large creek. The couple were able to elude the deputy and a subsequent search of the area proved unsuccessful. Both vehicles found at the scene were later discovered to have been stolen.

At 6:40PM Evansville-Vanderburgh Central Dispatch received a 911 call describing a suspicious male and female couple in the area of Old Henderson Road and Deusner Road. A responding deputy located the couple near the Dogtown Tavern located at Old Henderson Road and Cypress Dale Road. The deputy suspected the couple was involved in the earlier stolen vehicle incident and attempted to detain them until additional units could arrive to assist. The female suspect, who was later identified as Ms. Diana Elizabeth Ellmers, 27, stepped behind Kirk and produced a handgun. Ellmers then fired several times at the deputy, striking the passenger side window and door of the deputy’s cruiser. After the deputy returned fire the couple fled from the scene. The female then fired additional shots at the deputy from a distance. The deputy lost sight of the suspects during the exchange of fire. None of the shots fired by Ellmers struck the deputy.

Additional sheriff’s deputies, Evansville Police Department officers and Indiana State Police (ISP) troopers responded to the scene. The Evansville/Vanderburgh County Emergency Management Agency responded with drones capable of thermal imaging. An ISP helicopter also responded to the scene to assist in the search.

At 8:20PM sheriff’s deputies and Evansville police officers located Ellmers hiding outside a residence north of the Dogtown tavern. When Ellmers displayed a handgun, two deputies and at least one officer fired at Ellmers. Ellmers was struck by gunfire in her abdomen and arm. Her injuries are not believed to be life threatening. Ellmers was taken into custody and transported by ambulance to the hospital.

At 10:25PM Kirk began verbally responding to calls for him to surrender that were being issued over the public address system of the Evansville Police Department’s armored bearcat response vehicle. Kirk indicated that he had been shot and agreed to crawl out of the woods towards deputies. Kirk surrendered and was transported to the hospital for treatment. Kirk had sustained a gunshot to his midsection, which are not believed to be life threatening.

The Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Section (CIS) has been in contact with the Vanderburgh County Prosecutor’s Office with regard to a range of possible charges against Kirk and Ellmers. The intersection of Old Henderson Road and Cypress Dale Road will remain closed until mid-day Saturday in order for detectives to process the scene for evidence. An investigation into the incident will be conducted by the CIS as well as the Sheriff’s Office Professional Standards Unit, which is standard practice for any deputy-involved shooting.

Sheriff Dave Wedding will hold a news conference at Sheriff’s Office headquarters during the afternoon of Sunday, September 27, 2020 at a time to be announced later.

Pictured above: Sheriff’s Office cruiser damaged by gunfire.

Presumption of Innocence Notice: The fact that a person has been arrested or charged with a crime is merely an accusation. The defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.