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Five people injured in shooting outside Evansville bar, suspected gunman arrested

The suspect, John Perteet, is facing several charges after he opened fire outside of the Sidetrack Bar.
Credit: Vanderburgh County Jail

EVANSVILLE, Ind. — A man has been arrested after he is suspected of shooting five people outside of an Evansville bar early Sunday morning.

According to Evansville Police, they received a report of shots fired at Sidetrack Bar and Nightclub just after 3 a.m.

Officers are often present at Sidetrack Bar at that time to help manage crowds and one officer, hearing the shots, immediately responded.

The officer saw several individuals gathered near a vehicle. One man who was walking toward the vehicle increased his pace as the officer approached before getting into it. The officer witnessed another man banging on the window of the vehicle. He appeared to have blood on his clothes.

The officer pulled out his gun and demanded the driver of the vehicle to stop. The driver refused and fled. The officer delivered a detailed description of the vehicle to other responding officers and remained at the scene.

The vehicle was located near Garvin and Franklin. Officers attempted to conduct a traffic stop, but the driver fled once again. After a "short, low-speed pursuit", the vehicle was stopped at the intersection of 10th and Cherry.

The three people in the vehicle were taken into custody without incident. A firearm was recovered that is believed to have been used in the shooting and will be tested.

Five people were sent to the hospital with gunshot wounds. The victims, three females and two males, range in age from 28-37 years old. Some victims sustained more than one gunshot wound, but all are expected to survive.

The gunman in the incident has been identified as 32-year-old John Perteet of Evansville. Perteet was the man who walked away from the officer outside of the bar, according to police.

Security cameras outside of Sidetrack Bar recorded the incident and, after reviewing the footage, detectives believe that Perteet is the one responsible for the shooting.

The driver of the vehicle, 49-year-old Terry Ealum, was also arrested and has been charged with resisting law enforcement for refusing to stay at the scene. He has not been charged with anything relating to the shooting.

Credit: Vanderburgh County Jail

Both Perteet and Ealum are booked in the Vanderburgh County Jail.

One of the victims, Howard Dudley Phipps, 30, was identified as the man banging on the window of the vehicle when the responding officer approached. Phipps has been identified because he was also arrested after he was treated for his wounds. He returned to the scene and went past the crime scene tape to retrieve a set of keys - despite several officers telling him not to.

Credit: Vanderburgh Police Department

Phipps is charged with obstruction of justice and public intoxication. He was injured in November of 2018 in another shooting, also at Sidetrack Tavern. Detectives are looking to see if the two incidents are connected, but Phipps is currently the only person involved with both cases.

This case is still under investigation. Detectives are planning to speak to the suspects, victims, and witnesses at the scene. If you have any information, you are urged to contact Evansville Police at 812-435-6194.