May 16, 2018, 6:04 PM ET

Indiana police release surveillance video from deadly ambush

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Police in Indiana on Tuesday released surveillance video from a dramatic ambush that captured the moment a gunman suddenly opened fire on officers with an assault rifle.

The Evansville Police Department in southwest Indiana said it released 911 calls, officers' body camera footage and surveillance video from the scene to help find a motive in the Friday shooting, which ended with the gunman and a witness dead.

Police said the incident escalated quickly as they were responding to report of an "active shooter" in Evansville, about three hours south of Indianapolis.

PHOTO: Police in Evansville, Indiana released images of a patrol vehicle, riddled with bullet holes, after getting hit in a deadly ambush last week. The Evansville Police Department
Police in Evansville, Indiana released images of a patrol vehicle, riddled with bullet holes, after getting hit in a deadly ambush last week.

PHOTO: Police in Indiana released surveillance video of a deadly ambush on Tuesday.The Evansville Police Department
Police in Indiana released surveillance video of a deadly ambush on Tuesday.

The gunman, identified as 51-year-old Barry Freeman, opened fire near his home around 9 p.m., killing a 56-year-old neighbor, Jeffrey Kempf, and hitting four nearby residences and two businesses, police said at a press conference. The suspect may have thought he was firing at an officer, not his neighbor, when he hit him, police added.

One portion of the surveillance footage showed the suspect crouching behind a parked SUV with his rifle aimed toward the street in "an apparent ambush attempt," police said.

Responding officers called for backup when the suspect began firing at them, the department said.

Evansville SWAT Officer and Detective Kyle Thiry, a seven-year department veteran, eventually took down Freeman, shooting him twice in the chest. He was taken to a local hospital, where he died Sunday night.

"Officer Thiry is credited with ending Mr. Freeman's rampage that night," EPD Sgt. Jason Cullum said Tuesday. "That is a testament to the skill and the calmness that officer Thiry displayed that night in bringing peace back to that neighborhood."

No officers were injured, but the department released images from the scene showing four patrol vehicles riddled with bullet holes.

Cullum said Freeman did not have a criminal history and he may have been intoxicated. He said the suspect's movements indicated that he was "looking for law enforcement targets."

"We were told by his son while this event was unfolding that he had prior military experience," Cullum said, "and based on some of his movements it appeared he was using some training that he may have received."

ABC News' Matt Foster contributed to this report.

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  • Jonas Blane ll

    In this War on Cops era, shouldn't this have more than 46 comments? However,we all know why that is.

  • Jonas Blane ll

    Did Heather MacDonald,Rudy Giuliani,David Clarke Harry Houck go go tv and condemn Barry Newman for Targeting cops?

  • Jonas Blane ll

    Barry Freeman targeted cops to attack. yet we don't see WAR ON COPS. I wonder why?

  • Armed and Psychotic Loner

    " he had prior military experience," Cullum said, "and based on some of his movements it appeared he was using some training that he may have received."

    At least he had training, which is one attribute of a well-regulated militia. Unfortunately, he was missing other important aspects, so it didn't really work out.

  • paulyrat

    Nothing in the article indicates he was someone other than an every-man sport shooter. Wild. I'm mean the modern sporting rifle is a pretty amazing item, especially when you see it in the wrong context. It's just holes in paper at the range. Then you see the video of misuse in the street. Wild. I'm surprised that more private citizens didn't bring their firearms to bear.

  • Kathleen King

    Good job. Sorry about the neighbor, but this crazy gunworshiping idiot deserved what he got....

  • Noneofyourbusiness

    Great job Officer 30 - another wacko scumbag that won't ever attempt to hurt anyone ever again!

  • Russ

    What's an assault weapon?? I'm assuming it's just a weapon that someone assaults another person with. So it could be a knife or a baseball bat?

  • SpeakerNanny

    Again with the guns. They're everywhere and make good people do bad things. No one is safe. Fill your bathtub and stay underwater. Breath through a tampon applicator tube. You'll be safe there. Guns don't like moisture.

  • Lawrence Wilson

    Great shooting Officer Thiry, thanks for you courage under fire. I hope you are able to recover from this quickly & return to full duty, we need good officers like you every day.

  • James R. Paris

    "Cullum said Freeman did not have a criminal history and he may have been
    intoxicated. He said the suspect's movements indicated that he was
    "looking for law enforcement targets." " Once again, someone with a semiautomatic that was not a criminal - until they were. And the NRA and its' adherents wonder why so many of us want to see better gun control laws.

  • John Smith

    Why can't these sickos show up at the NRA headquarters. I'm sure they would have a great time together. They could talk about their love of guns. They could talk about their high capacity magazines. They could talk about how they can really defend their homes. They could do their chant-"guns don't kill people-people kill people".

  • Indy

    It's sad that the unstable / mentally unbalanced gunman ended up killing his neighbor by accident, and it's unbelievable that he didn't end up killing or even injuring a Law Enforcement Officer, since those are the only people that he really seemed to be out to injure or kill.