ISP Trooper recovering, accused shooter makes jokes in court

ISP Trooper recovering, accused shooter makes jokes in court
Indiana State Police Trooper Morgenn Evans (Source: ISP)
Indiana State Police Trooper Morgenn Evans (Source: ISP)
ISP trooper Morgenn Evans with his fiance. (Source: Family photo)
ISP trooper Morgenn Evans with his fiance. (Source: Family photo)

JEFFERSONVILLE, IN (WAVE) - "We're lucky, we're very, very lucky that Trooper Evans was not killed," Indiana State Police Sgt. Jerry Goodi said. "His guardian angel was definitely, definitely with him."

An Indiana State Trooper is recovering Wednesday after being shot in the head Tuesday night.

Trooper Morgenn Evans was released from the hospital Wednesday, and police say his prognosis is good.

Evans was shot while attempting to handcuff a driver to bring him in for a breathalyzer test.

This happened just after 7 p.m. Tuesday night between East Park Place and Main Street in Jeffersonville. Although injured, the trooper was able to radio in for police backup and return fire on the driver who fled the scene. Assisting police were able to eventually arrested near his home.

79-year-old Oscar Kays is being held in the Clark County Jail. He was brought in Tuesday night after being treated at University Hospital for injuries police say came from Evans firing back at him while Kays was fleeing the scene.

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"We're very lucky and grateful that the trooper's going to be okay," Major Joshua Lynch with the Jeffersonville Police Department said.

Police say Kays shot Evans in the head with a small pocket gun. Evans fired back as Kays fled, police said, hitting Kays and his vehicle.

Police said good coordination among agencies led them to Kays' home, where he was arrested.

"We took total chaos and turned it into a well-organized machine, to be honest with you," Goodin said.

Evans has been with Indiana State Police for a little more than a year. Goodin said Evans is a hard worker, a good officer and lucky to be alive.

"It just skimmed the top of his head. You can see, there was a large knot and a bruise there and it's just like it shaved his head. Another quarter of an inch, the smallest measurement you could have either way would have been a fatal shot to him," Goodin said.

Oscar Kays is charged with attempted murder, aggravated battery and resisting law enforcement. Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull says he asked for a one million dollar cash bond to be set for Kays because of the danger he poses if let out of jail.

"This is a man who tried to kill a state trooper, and he has no business being out on the street," Jeremy Mull said. "This trooper's trying to keep these roads safe. And this individual shoots him in the court and is laughing in court. I simply don't find it amusing at all. And again, it's a case I will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law and attempt to have him convicted and sentenced to the maximum possible sentence for his actions."

Walking out of the courtroom Wednesday, Kays asked, "anybody got any money?"

In and out of the courtroom Wednesday, Kays joked around about the bond set in the case and the potential sentences he faced, telling the judge "I ain't gonna live that long."

Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull says he may bring more charges against Kays. The charges currently facing Kays carry a maximum sentence of 62 and a half years.

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