CELINA — A Mercer County man was taken into custody Tuesday evening on a preliminary charge of inducing panic after firing gunshots in the direction of law enforcement officials.
Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey said his office received a 911 call at 3:38 p.m. Tuesday from a person who said a family member had hung a note on a tree indicating he was suicidal and then walked into a woods at 8796 Indiana-Ohio State Line Road. Deputies heard gunshots upon their arrival but were unsure if they were the intended target or if the individual was shooting into the air.
A short time later Rick A. Bult, 59, stepped out from behind an abandoned refrigerator with a firearm in his hand. A Celina Police Department officer fired multiple rounds at the suspect.
Grey called for assistance from the Auglaize County Sheriff’s Office Special Response Team, Van Wert Sheriff’s Office, Adams County (Indiana) Sheriff’s Office and the Ohio State Highway Patrol Air Unit (helicopter). Grey said that shortly after 8 p.m. the SRT team located the male in a culvert and was able to extract him. He was taken to the Mercer County jail.
Grey said no one received any injuries in the incident.
This case remains under investigation. When the investigation is complete, the case will be reviewed by the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office to determine if other charges are warranted.