Bowling Green Officer Killed By Fellow Officers As He Fought With Suspect - News, Weather & Sports

Bowling Green Officer Killed By Fellow Officers As He Fought With Suspect

By Eric Flack

(BOWLING GREEN, Ky.) -- There is a tragic, new twist in the story of a Kentucky police officer killed in the line of duty. It appears officer David Whitson was accidentally shot by a fellow Bowling Green officer. WAVE 3 Investigator Eric Flack has more on what investigators say happened and reaction from Whitson's family.

Even as a teenager, David Whitson wanted to be a police officer. Tuesday morning he died doing what he loved.

His family has been rocked not only by the loss, but the likelihood the fatal shots came from David's fellow officers.

David's uncle, Marvin Whitson, told reporters "I didn't know how to ask. I said: 'Did David get hurt?'"

"She said: 'No. He's dead. He got killed.'"

Kentucky State Police say Whitson was part of a group trying to arrest a man wielding knives. The suspect attacked Officer Whitson, and two of his fellow officers fired.

But Whitson was killed along with the suspect. Law enforcement in Kentuckiana jumped to the defense of Whitson's partners.

"There is no officer out here in the United States anywhere, that would intentionally or recklessly harm another officer," said Indiana State Police Trooper Jerry Goodin.

Still, Louisville psychologist, Dr. Stanley Frager says the tragic mistake will send ripple effects through the department and the entire community.

"There is guilt and anger on the part of the family of the officer," he said. "Couldn't have you have prevented this? There's always that 20/20 hindsight that everybody goes through."

Dr. Frager says the officers could suffer post traumatic stress disorder as they deal with feelings of guilt.

"Being shot by friendly fire, whether it is in the military or as a police officer, is a tremendously tragic event," he said.

The officers family says they know it was an accident. What they will never know is why David was the one caught in the middle.

"Things like that happen," his uncle Marvin said. "Nobody knows the reason why -- we don't. But the Lord knows the reason."

David Whitson was 34 years old. He leaves behind a wife and two children. Gov. Ernie Fletcher ordered flags to be flown at half staff in Whitson's honor.

State Police hoped to learn the results of a ballistics report Thursday.

Online Reporter: Eric Flack

Online Producer: Michael Dever