New Albany man accused of shooting police officer in charged with attempted murder

Barry Sowders
Barry Sowders(LMDC)
Published: May. 30, 2023 at 12:23 PM EDT|Updated: May. 30, 2023 at 1:26 PM EDT

NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WAVE) – The City of New Albany said the man wanted in connection with the shooting of a police officer has been taken into custody and charged with attempted murder.

The shooting happened Tuesday morning around 11:30 a.m.

Indiana State Police were investigating a prior shooting in the city that happened in the 400 block of Green Street.

Sgt. Carey Huls of ISP Sellersburg said a man had allegedly fired shots at a woman.

No one was injured in the shooting, but police began searching for the suspect, who they identified as 29-year-old Barry Sowders of New Albany.

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Around 11:30 a.m., officers found a vehicle near the 1400 block of Grant Street in New Albany matching the suspects.

Sowders came out of the vehicle armed with a handgun. When officers tried to detain him, Sowders fled the scene on foot.

During the chase, ISP said Sowders opened fire at two officers. He struck Corporal Andrew Byrne, who returned fire, striking Sowders.

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An officer with the New Albany, Ind. Police Department was wounded during an exchange of...
An officer with the New Albany, Ind. Police Department was wounded during an exchange of gunfire with a man who fired on officers when they encountered him.(Source: Doug Druschke, WAVE News)

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Detectives believe Sowders continued to flee and shot at a third officer. While he was able to temporarily evade police, multiple agencies set a perimeter around the location.

Officers at the scene of the shooting provided medical aid to Corporal Byrne, ISP said. Byrne was taken to the University of Hospital in Louisville to be treated for his injuries.

Around 12:30 p.m., a group of officers found Sowders lying on the front porch of a Market Street home not far from the shooting.

Sowders was treated for his gunshot wounds and was then taken to the hospital. He was later released from the hospital and is now at Jefferson County Metro Corrections, awaiting extradition back to Indiana.

Police charged Sowders with three counts of attempted murder and resisting law enforcement.

ISP said Byrne is currently listed in fair condition at UofL Hospital.

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Cpl. Andrew Byrne
Cpl. Andrew Byrne(New Albany Police Department)

Mayor of the City of New Albany Jeff Gahan said he spoke with Byrne on the phone around 4:45 p.m., and said he is in good spirits.

“Today, we witnessed an example of outstanding police work by the New Albany Police Department,” Mayor Gahan said in a statement. “I want to thank Police Chief Todd Bailey, the officers of the New Albany Police Department, and all the supporting agencies for capturing the gunman.

New Albany Police Corporal Andrew Byrne was injured by gunfire after responding to a call to investigate a disturbance. I spoke with Corporal Byrne on the phone around 4:45pm, and he is in good spirits. I commend him for his bravery and plan to visit with him tomorrow.

All across the country, this type of violence is occurring more and more frequently. Our city’s recent investments in new police equipment, facilities, and training are more important now than ever.”

New Albany Police Department released a statement following Tuesday’s incident.

“I want to thank all law enforcement and emergency services partners who assisted today. Indiana State Police, Floyd County Sheriff’s Department, Jeffersonville Police Department, Clarksville Police Department, Harrison County Sheriff’s Department, Louisville Metro Police, Floyd County Prosecutor’s Office, Floyd County EMA, New Albany Fire Department, AMR, New Chapel Fire, Baptist Floyd Hospital, U of L Hospital, FBI, City of New Albany.

A special mention goes to the brave men and women of the New Albany Police Department and our Communications staff. Our staff, without consideration for their own personal safety, rushed in to provide aid to Cpl Byrne and to protect the safety of our community. They did an excellent job while faced with extraordinary circumstances and prevailed by ensuring no innocent citizens were harmed. I am thankful each and every day I have the pleasure of working alongside and representing these dedicated professionals.”

New Albany Police Chief Todd Bailey said he has asked ISP to take over the investigation and further information will be released by them.