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New Harmony man arrested for attempted murder of Posey Co. deputy

Knox Co. school reflects on Posey Co. deputy shot over the weekend
Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 4:07 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 22, 2021 at 4:32 PM CDT
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KNOX CO., Ind. (WFIE) - The man who authorities say shot a Posey County deputy over the weekend has been arrested.

According to Indiana State Police, 70-year-old Paul Wiltshire of New Harmony was released from Deaconess Midtown Hospital in Evansville and arrested for the attempted murder of Deputy Bryan Hicks.

Troopers transported Wiltshire to the Posey County Jail where he was booked for attempted murder, which is a Level 1 felony.

Wiltshire was transported to the Warrick County Jail, where he is currently being held without bond.

Hicks remains in critical but stable condition after being shot over the weekend.

He’s worked in law enforcement for years in several different Tri-State counties.

“He set the bar high for school resource officers in our county, I mean he set the standard,” Matt Toothman, assistant principal at South Knox High School said. “And whatever he did we mimicked with our future SROs as well.”

It takes a special person to be the ‘standard.’

“We had to find the right person,” South Knox Elementary Principal Scott Staggs said. “Having been a career law enforcement person, you think of those people as kind of people all business, and he was at the beginning, probably the first couple of years he was that way, but then it was neat to see the walls come down and the kids giving him hugs and those kind of things.”

From the sounds of the testimonials from faculty at South Knox High School, Deputy Hicks was just that.

“I had a student one time that could not pass a test and Hicks came in and took that test with him five different times so he could pass,” Machelle Pool, a teacher at South Knox High School said. “I’m not saying Hicks didn’t struggle on the test either but they got through it together. It was the little things like that. Making the connection with the kid when he saw them standing in the hallway by himself. Or sometimes, especially as a female, we know those other male students need a positive male role model and Hicks was one of those, he could say, “Hey let’s get your stuff together and they would listen to him.’”

So even after years of moving out of the county, the shocking news that Deputy Hicks had been shot still rocked the community.

“I instantly started praying it wasn’t Hicks,” Savannah Linenburg, a friend with the Hicks family said. “It sounds terrible, I didn’t want it to be anybody else either, but I knew someone there. As police wives, you know this can happen.”

“When you find out it’s one of your brothers, one of the ones you’ve worked with and become friends, it hits you a lot different, hits a lot closer to home,” Dave Linenburg, a Knox County deputy and friend of the Hicks family said.

So even from a couple counties over, there’s a huge support system behind Deputy Hicks.

“Knox County has not forgotten about him,” Savannah said. “He is very much loved in this community. We’ll be here for whatever Bryan and his wife and family needs.”

Many fundraisers have been started in support of the deputy and his family.

Pappa Bear’s Catering will be at the Vanderburgh County Fairgrounds for the Farm 57 Food Truck Night on Wednesday.

The proceeds from each meal served will be donated to the family of Deputy Hicks.

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