An Owensboro Police Department officer was involved in a shooting on Sunday, but investigators are saying they believe his shot did not contribute to the death of a man who apparently took his own life.
An OPD officer initiated a traffic stop around 10 a.m. on Walnut Street near the Cigar Factory Complex, and learned that the man driving the vehicle had a warrant for his arrest, said Kentucky State Police Public Affairs Officer Corey King.
KSP is investigating the case, said OPD Public Information Officer Andrew Boggess.
When the officer approached the vehicle, the driver attempted to drive away, dragging the officer for a bit, King said.
“A small pursuit ensued,” King said. “That’s when the operator of the vehicle stopped on a dead-end street and came out on foot with a pistol in his hand.”
King said the man put the pistol to his head and “proclaimed he is not going to jail and would kill himself.”
The man was walking on Walnut Street near Parrish Avenue when another OPD officer turned from Parrish onto Walnut and came face-to-face with the man.
When the officer stopped, the man shot himself, King said.
“During the course of that, the officer discharged his weapon in his vehicle” through the police cruiser’s windshield, King said. “It’s unknown if the suspect was hit with the officer’s bullet at this time.”
King said the KSP is looking at this case as a suicide with a discharge of an officer’s weapon, and that the decedent’s and the officer’s names will be released in the coming days.
The officer will be interviewed, camera footage will be reviewed and the medical examiner and the coroner input will be considered when making the determination what exactly happened, King said.
“We do believe what transpired first was the self-inflicted gunshot wound,” he said. “At this point, it’s going to take some time to get the rest of the information.”
The Daviess County Coroner pronounced the suspect dead at the scene. Daviess County Coroners Office and the Kentucky Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy Monday morning in Louisville.
KSP Post 16 detectives were assisted by KSPs Critical Incident Response Team, Daviess County Coroners Office, Owensboro Fire Department, AMR Medics and OPD.
Bobbie Hayse, email@example.com, 270-691-7315