DATE: Saturday April 16, 2022

SUBJECT: Deputies Avoid Being Shot


CONTACT: Major Jason Ashworth

AUTHORITY: Sheriff David Wedding

April 16, 2022, Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to an area hotel in northern Vanderburgh County regarding a Domestic Violence In Progress.  Deputies were assisted by an Indiana State Police Trooper. All three went to the hotel room where multiple gunshots were fired from within the room.  As all approached, law enforcement presence was announced and all could hear cries for help from a female in the hotel room.  Multiple shots were fired and one fired round went through the hotel room door towards the Deputies and Trooper who were in the hallway attempting to gain entry into the room. Deputies and the ISP Trooper were able to safely exit the area and call for assistance.  Special Weapons and Tactics personnel from the Evansville Police Department and Indiana State Police responded and assisted.  After nearly 7.5 hours of negotiations, both Richard Thomas Jr. and Christina Zeller exited their hotel room and were quickly apprehended.

This investigation is on-going as both Mr. Thomas and Ms. Zeller are being questioned regarding their involvements in this violent incident.  Richard Thomas Jr. is expected to face felony charges, to include Attempted Murder.  Criminal charges against Christina Zeller are still being determined.  A preliminary investigation has determined that illegal narcotic use is involved.  Multiple handguns, ammunition, and suspected methamphetamine have been recovered.

Richard Thomas Jr., 46 years old, of Chrisney, IN.

Christina Zeller, 42 years old, of Chrisney, IN. (No Image Available)