Man dies 2 weeks after car pursuit

Indianapolis resident shot self at end of chase

A man who fled from police and shot himself has died, but investigators still don’t know why he ran from officers.

Chad Petras, 36, Indianapolis, died on Saturday, nearly two weeks after crashing into a tree on the southside during a pursuit with police. Officers also found that Petras had shot himself in the head at the end of the pursuit.

An autopsy was done, but the cause of death has not yet been determined, according to the Marion County Coroner’s Office.

Petras was taken to Eskenazi Hospital in Indianapolis on Oct. 16.

Police had been called to a home on East Main Street, just before 10 a.m. that day, where a resident reported finding a man wearing camouflage clothing and a black mask on his property. The resident’s dog chased the man, who ran through a cornfield.

Deputies searched the area for a silver truck seen leaving the area, and spotted the vehicle getting onto Interstate 65. A deputy tried to stop the truck, but the driver sped up and got off the interstate on County Line Road, heading east.

Police said the driver threw items out of the vehicle, and pointed a gun at the deputy pursuing him.

The truck drove off the road on Arlington Avenue, just north of County Line Road, hit a utility pole and then a tree and stopped.

When officers got to the vehicle, they found Petras in the driver side, alive, but with a wound to the head. They also found a revolver that had recently been fired inside the truck, according to the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office report.

Investigators found Petras had a suspended license.

They have spoken to Petras’ family and do not know why he was at the property east of Greenwood that morning, Cox said.

Author photo
Annie Goeller is managing editor of the Daily Journal. She can be reached at or 317-736-2718.