Residents discuss night of ‘terror,’ ‘chaos’ in Huntington

HUNTINGTON, Ind. (WANE) – Two shootings in southeast Huntington led to a 20-hour manhunt that left residents afraid and confused. It came to an end early Wednesday.

Officers set up a widespread crime scene near a home and street intersection Tuesday afternoon. Huntington Police Department Chief Chad Hacker said around 2:10 p.m. Tuesday, a woman showed up at the police station and said someone shot at her vehicle.

The woman was not hurt in the shooting.

Police were then called to a home near the intersection of Indiana Street and Allen Street on Huntington’s southeast side near Hiers Park. In pictures provided to NewsChannel 15, police could be seen working around a large two-story home. Investigators had the whole intersection blocked off with police tape.

At least two residents told NewsChannel 15 that officers were investigating a shooting. One neighbor said he heard two gunshots around noon and said police arrived shortly after that, but said he did not know if anyone was hurt.

Picture are, from left, crime scenes at Allen and Indiana streets, Jefferson Street and U.S. 24 in Huntington.
Picture are, from left, crime scenes at Allen and Indiana streets, Jefferson Street and U.S. 24 in Huntington.

Dispatchers refused to release any information about the incident.

After the incident, Huntington County Sheriff Terry Stoffel said he sent deputies to the Boys and Girls Club to keep children safe because it could be a target area for someone who is unstable. Security at Parkview Hospital said they, too, went on lockdown because of the threat.

Late Tuesday, Huntington County issued an alert to residents. It said the Huntington Police Department was looking for a white man, who is 5-foot, 9-inches, and was last seen wearing a red and green coat, white tee shirt with a skull on the front, and blue jeans.

According to the Code Red Alert, the man was believed to be in Huntington. It said authorities wanted to check his welfare, but warned residents not approach him, but call 911 instead. Police have not released the name or pictures of the person they were attempting to locate.

That man – 31-year-old Tyler Sellers – was spotted again early Tuesday. Police said he tried to hold up a gas station near the first shooting, and ended up shooting a clerk in the hand. Shortly after, police said he stole a Chevrolet Trailblazer and ultimately took police on a chase along U.S. 24.

The chase would end in a crash with a police cruiser. At that point, Sellers shot himself in the head. He was taken to a Fort Wayne hospital in critical condition and died.

Residents in Huntington told NewsChannel 15 on Wednesday that they’d never seen anything like this in the city, and some voiced frustrations with how police handled the incidents.

“I am not condoning or standing out for how this was conducted in this town. Period,” said Patricia Lovatto. She added that it was chaos and no one knew what was going on as confusion and rumors swirled around the city.

“Condolences to his family or whatever situation was arising but we have family and friends we want safe and how this was conducted this morning was absolutely absurd,” said Lovatto. “This was misconducted completely. This was a serious, dangerous situation that should have been apprehended at that first call.”