Who is Shane Meehan? Terre Haute ex-mayoral candidate charged with FBI agent's murder

DoJ confirmed charges against Shane Meehan, who tossed a molotov cocktail at the Terre Haute FBI building and allegedly killed officer Gregory Ferency


                            Who is Shane Meehan? Terre Haute ex-mayoral candidate charged with FBI agent's murder
An arrest mugshot of Shane Meehan from 2013 (Marion County Sheriff's Office)

TERRE HAUTE, INDIANA: The Department of Justice (DoJ) confirmed that charges have been filed against the man who allegedly attacked an FBI building and killed a federal officer on July 7, in Terre Haute, Indiana. According to reports, 44-year-old Shane Meehan was responsible for the attack in Indiana and is now facing life in prison.

Attacks on serving officers have gradually risen over the last few years, adding to a huge rise in crime all over the US. Over the memorial day weekend, Rapper Pooh Shiesty was booked for shooting a security guard after a dispute in Miami-Dade, Florida. In February, FBI agents Laura Schwartzenberger and Daniel Alfin were shot when serving a warrant in South Florida. In April, US Army second lieutenant Caron Nazario was assaulted by police officers in Virginia. 

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The shocking attack on a federal building in Indiana mostly escaped national headlines but is now making waves after charges against Meehan were confirmed. In a lengthy press release, the DoJ detailed the incident that killed FBI Task Force Officer Gregory Ferency. Here's what you need to know.

Shane Meehan in 2019, as he attempted to run for Mayor of Terre Haute (Twitter)

Who is Shane Meehan? 

A lifelong resident of Terre Haute, Meehan famously ran for Mayor in 2019. He finished last in a four-way race, with just 1 per cent of the votes. Meehan ran on an anti-gun campaign and promised to fix the local schools. He also ran to show residents that a political outsider could become Mayor, but that never happened. He also wanted to improve the diversity of the city, telling My Wabash Valley, "There’s a lot of people that won’t come not just Indiana, but Terre Haute if the diversity’s not right. If we can get more diversity in our jobs and within the community, I think that might be more appealing."

Before that, he worked for the delivery service company UPS. Meehan took the UPS job after retiring from his job at the Terre Haute Federal Penitentiary, where he worked as a guard between 2005 and 2017. His Facebook page says he studied at West Vigo High School. No college or university is listed. Meehan got married in 1999 and is currently the father of three children. In 2013, he was arrested for trespassing and criminal intoxication, but "his charges were dismissed in Marion County because he went into diversion," WTHR reported

Little else is known about Meehan and his Facebook page barely has any posts. His wife's account seems quite ordinary, with posts about friends and family. There is no indication of why Meehan suddenly attacked the FBI building or allegedly killed Ferency. Even in the press release, the DoJ is yet to state a motive for the attack. 

A sign warns away trespassers at the Federal Correctional Complex Terre Haute on July 25, 2019, in Terre Haute, Indiana (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Attack on FBI building 'premeditated'

On July 7, Meehan allegedly drove up to the FBI building, got out and threw a Molotov cocktail inside the compound. After the explosion, Ferency confronted Meehan, and the duo engaged in a gun battle. Ferency was shot and killed shortly afterward. Then, another agent came out of the building and engaged Meehan. The second agent, who was not named, managed to hit Meehan twice. 

Meehan then fled to Vigo County Regional Hospital, where he underwent surgery for gunshot wounds. It is reported he is still in hospital, under close observation by the police. Investigations revealed a firearm, as well as three additional Molotov cocktails and extra ammunition in his pickup truck. In the DoJ press release, Acting US Attorney John E Childress said, "An attack on law enforcement is an attack on us all. We will work day and night to carefully examine the circumstances of the shooting and we are dedicated to honoring Greg’s memory through a meticulous investigation."

Given that Meehan had several other cocktails and additional ammunition in his truck, it is believed his actions were premeditated. Due to his condition, it is believed Meehan was unable to make a statement. He has been charged with the murder of a federal agent, which is punishable with life in prison. The case is being investigated by the FBI, and the prosecution is being handled by Assistant United States Attorneys Kate Oliver and Barry Glickman.

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