News From Terre Haute, Indiana

October 27, 2011

VIDEO: Police: Shooting suspect in custody

Lisa Trigg
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — A man police believe shot a motel clerk here is now behind bars in Bloomington.

Joseph A. Sims, 28, faces a charge of armed robbery causing serious bodily injury, a class-A felony, related to the Monday night shooting at a Terre Haute motel.

Sims was arrested early this morning by Elletsville Police on charges of public intoxication and intimidation of police with a deadly weapon.

“Obviously, we’re gonna be interested to see what that [weapon] is and if it is the weapon used in the robbery,” said Terre Haute Police Assistant Chief Shawn Keen at a news conference today at the Terre Haute Police Department.

Sims remained in the Monroe County Jail this morning on the criminal charges pending in Bloomington. Keen said it was unknown yet when Sims would be returned to Vigo County to faces charges in the motel clerk shooting.

Keen said police have spoken with the shooting victim, who is recovering from his wound.

Sims became a suspect in the attempted robbery after police tracked down information they found near the shooting scene. A vehicle registration found on the ground near the hotel led police to Wendy Nicoson, 31, of Terre Haute, who told police that she had loaned her van to the suspect on the night of the shooting. However, police assert that Nicoson lied to them about that fact when they first questioned her. She later allegedly told police that the shooter had returned her vehicle on the night of the shooting and stayed at her residence.

Nicoson was arrested at 10:21 p.m. Tuesday for obstruction of justice related to the shooting.

An arrest warrant was issued Wednesday evening for the suspect in the shooting.

Keen said that when the warrant information was entered into a computer today, information popped up that Sims had been arrested in Ellettsville.

Lisa Trigg can be reached at (812) 231-4254 or