On Saturday, a 911 call reporting gunfire between family members sent Clay County Sheriff's Department deputies to the scene of a family altercation at the James Robert Mackey Jr.'s residence, 8304 E. State Road 42, leading to a manhunt for the suspect and the discovery of a marijuana growing operation and possible meth lab site.
Arriving around 1:35 p.m. Deputy Josh Clarke arrived to find gunshot victim Joshua Miller lying in the yard behind the home. Clarke discovered that the suspect, Mackey, had fled the scene.
Clarke's investigation determined that Miller arrived at the residence to confront a guest, Bryan Oswalt, and Mackey for unknown reasons. The argument led to a fist fight which ignited into gunfire between the stepbrothers.
"Miller and Mackey opened fire upon each other while other family members and some children in the area of the upper yard were playing in a pool," Clarke said. "Miller suffered three gunshot wounds to the lower back and was flown by Air Evac to Wishard Hospital, but there were no other injuries reported at the scene."
A canine unit from the Owen County Sheriff's Dept. and a bloodhound from the Putnamville Corrections' Canine Unit searched the wooded area around the home while an Indiana State Police helicopter searched the area from above.
"Once the suspect was found by the bloodhound, he just gave up," Clarke said, adding the suspect was unarmed at the time.
A search warrant for the property was issued during the course of the investigation.
Upon its execution, officers discovered a marijuana growing operation, chemicals used in the manufacture of methamphetamine and several weapons, which were removed from the property. Officals remained on the scene for hours collecting evidence from both the shooting and the findings of the search warrant.
It was also established that the victim's wife, Karen Miller, had left the scene with two other people in the victim's car before law enforcement arrived. Authorities then began to search for the car and its occupants for questioning.
When the car was located, officers from the sheriff's department arrested Karen Miller for dealing methamphetamine, possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia. Oswalt was also arrested on a petition to revoke probation and a third unidentified person was arrested by Owen County Sheriff's Dept.
"At last report Miller was in stable condition," Clarke said, adding that the victim's wounds may not be as bad as previously determined. "Mackey is at the Clay County Jail awaiting arraignment Monday morning."
Other units responding to the scene were the Center Point Police Dept., Poland Fire Dept. and Trans-Care Ambulance.