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EPD Seizes Guns Under Red Flag Law

Isaiah Seibert

A man is in the Vanderburgh County Jail after Evansville police say he was planning an ambush. Officers were able to confiscate his firearms thanks to a little-known Indiana law, called the Red Flag law.

It allows police to take guns without a warrant if the owner is experiencing a mental health crisis.   

Sgt. Jason Cullum believes the Evansville Police Department (EPD) used the law for the first time just a few days ago.

"The folks that drafted this bill and got it passed, this is what we believe they envisioned was giving us the tools that we needed to keep the community safe and keep our officers safe," he says

Police say a family member of Kenneth Haynie, Jr. contacted the EPD last weekend, warning that the 67-year-old had talked about confronting officers.

Police issued an officer safety alert. The following day, Haynie called 911. He allegedly told dispatchers he was holding his wife at knifepoint and wanted officers to respond. Police say Haynie gave specific instructions and warned that failure to follow them would lead to a "bloodbath."

The EPD was able to find Haynie’s wife at another location, and officers determined the man was not an immediate threat.

On Tuesday, police obtained a warrant and arrested Haynie when he left his home to take out the trash. Inside the home, officers say they found ten loaded guns throughout the house. Police allege Haynie also rigged the mail slot to allow him to shoot at officers.

Haynie is charged with misdemeanor false informing. He was still in the jail as of Wednesday morning on a $10,000 bond.

Under state statute, a hearing must take place within 14 days to determine whether or when the guns can be returned.

The Red Flag Law was passed in 2005. It is also known as the Jake Laird Law, named after an officer with the Indianapolis Police Department who was shot and killed in 2004.

Police had previously taken the guns away from Laird's killer but had to return them because they had no legal recourse to hold onto them.