shot at B'ville store
According to Ripley County Prosecutor Ric
Hertel two charges of Attempted Murder have been filed against
James L. Fernbach, Jr., 32, of Batesville. The charges stem from
a shooting at the Marathon Gas Station, more commonly known as
the Day & Nite East on Highway 46 in Batesville, on Saturday,
April 4. Attempted Murder is a Class A Felony that carries a penalty
of 20-50 years imprisonment, if convicted
Information from the Probable Cause Affidavit states that Fernbach
called 911 saying he had shot someone. The call came
from the suspects home at 4273 East County Road 1150 North,
shortly after the shooting occurred before 4 p.m.
A store clerk told WRBI Radio that Fernbach had just been in the
store, and was a regular customer. She didnt indicate that
anything was amiss. However, when he walked outside, apparently
without warning, he allegedly shot Phillip Ray Cruser, 56, of
Westport. He also shot Benjamin Dick, 26, of Batesville, according
to court records. Both were taken to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis
where Cruser remains.
Dick had apparently struggled with the shooter, after he saw him
shoot Cruser in the head. Cruser was in his vehicle in the parking
area of the store when the incident occurred. Dick told police
Fernbach turned the gun on him and a struggle ensued.
As a result, Dick was shot in the hand as he attempted to block
his head. Dick said as he ran into the store, he saw Fernbach
attempting to reload the gun. No one else was shot in the incident.
According to the Probable Cause Affidavit, Fernbach arrived home
and told his wife, Susan, and mother-in-law, Lynn Mattox, that
he had shot someone. Susan said she saw her husband lay a handgun
on a table inside their home. A search warrant was obtained Saturday
night and and a handgun was retrieved. Also found was the Cavalier
that Fernbach was described as driving away from the shooting
Fernbach was taken into custody without incident at his home by
Trooper James Wells, who was assisted by officers from the Ripley
County Sheriffs Office.
Right now authorities are not saying if the suspect even knew
the victims. The incident is still under investigation by the
Batesville Police Department, who was assisted by the Indiana
State Police, Ripley and Franklin County Sheriffs Departments,
Osgood Police Department and the Ripley County Prosecutors
An Initial Hearing will take place at 1 p.m. today, April 7 in
Ripley County Circuit Court. Fernbach is incarcerated in the Ripley
L. Fernbach Jr.