KSP says man committed suicide, officer discharged weapon

September 20, 2020 | 12:20 pm

Updated September 20, 2020 | 8:46 pm

UPDATE (1:45 p.m.) — One person is dead after committing suicide following a traffic stop Sunday morning.

Kentucky State Police is handling the investigation. KSP Public Information Officer Corey King said their agency was contacted by Owensboro Police Department “in regards to a shooting involving one of their officers as well as a suspect.”

According to King, the initial complaint came out as a “suicidal subject.”

King said OPD was conducting a traffic stop in the area of West Parrish Avenue and Walnut Street when they stopped a male subject who had expired tags. During the stop, it was discovered there was a warrant for the driver’s arrest.

According to King, OPD officers asked the driver to exit the vehicle but he put the car in drive. An officer tried to turn the car off and the subject drug officer a very short period of time.

“A short pursuit ensued after that, to where the suspect exited the vehicle with a gun to his head and was walking down several streets, including (Walnut),” King said. “At that point one of the officers came around the corner in his patrol vehicle and came face-to-face with the suspect with a gun to his head. At that point, the suspect shot himself. Somewhere in this incident, the officer who was directly in front of him discharged his weapon from the vehicle.

“It is unknown at this point whether that bullet from the officer’s gun struck the suspect, but either way the suspect did take his life in front of the officer.”

King said the officer brandished his weapon because the suspect had a weapon, which is standard protocol.

King said the suspect “was proclaiming he was not going to go back to jail” and was going to take his own life.

“As soon as the officer came within 15 feet of him, that is when unfortunately he shot himself in the head,” King said.

KSP is waiting on their Specialized Critical Incident Response Team to further investigate the situation.

King said he believes OPD vehicles are equipped with cameras, so KSP will be reviewing the footage.

“Everything we know is that he did have a gun to his head, and we have several witnesses accounting so,” King said. “Either way that is something that’s going to take time in this investigation. We will make sure this will be conducted thoroughly and as efficiently as possible.”

In addition to reviewing any footage from OPD vehicle, KSP will also see if nearby businesses had any camera footage of the incident.

King said they are awaiting a report from the medical examiner, who would determine whether or not the officer hit the suspect when the officer’s firearm was discharged.

The name of the suspect and officer will be released at a later time. The investigation is still ongoing.

The Daviess County Coroner pronounced the suspect deceased on scene. Daviess County Coroner’s Office and the Kentucky Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy Monday morning in Louisville.

Kentucky State Police Post 16 detectives were assisted by KSP’s Critical Incident Response Team, Daviess County Coroner’s Office, Owensboro Fire Department, AMR Medics and Owensboro Police Department.

Developing (12:20 p.m.) — Owensboro Police Department Public Information Officer Andrew Boggess said the Kentucky State Police are investigating an officer-involved shooting that occurred shortly after 10 a.m. Sunday near the intersection of West Parrish Avenue and Walnut Street.

KSP will be handling the investigation. OPD, the Owensboro Fire Department, AMR, and the Daviess County coroner are on scene.

West Parrish Avenue is blocked off from Elm to Cedar streets.

Officers said the area is currently an active investigation scene but there is no danger to the community.

This story will be updated when more details become available.

September 20, 2020 | 12:20 pm

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