One person gunned down at Parkway Place housing complex

Louisville, KY - By Matt McCutcheon - e-mail | bio

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Homicide detectives are investigating after a 28-year-old man was gunned down early Friday at the Parkway Place Public Housing Complex in west Louisville.

Police were patrolling the complex, located in the 1700 block of Patton Court, just before 4 a.m. on May 21 when they heard gunfire. Upon investigating, officers found Donta Trabue outside of building 54. He had been shot in the head.

"Officers actually heard the gunshot when it went off," said LMPD spokesperson Alicia Smiley.

Trabue was pronounced dead at the scene.

Smiley says Trabue most likely did not live in the complex.

"We are still investigating what exactly led up to the shooting," Smiley said. "We don't have any suspects at this point. We do know that the person was shot one time and we don't believe that he's a resident of this area."

The victim's family rushed to the scene once they heard the news.

"He was my son," said Theresa Appleton, the victim's mom. "I don't know what happened. I hope they catch who did it."

"He was just a guy to be around," said Trabue's cousin. "He didn't cause trouble. None. Just a fun guy to be around," his cousin said.

Trabue's family was already dealing with another loss in the family, making this one especially difficult.

"I just buried my brother Wednesday, and now I've got to bury a son," Appleton said. "This is too much; too much for one time."

Trabue, 28, also had a family of his own, which must now go through life without a father.

"He had two children: a son and a daughter, ages two and six," Appleton said.

A school sits across the street from the murder scene, meaning many kids saw police tape and heard emotional cries while on their way to school.

"We've had shootings in this area as well as homicides, but to be honest, for the last several months I'm not sure of any homicides occurring," Smiley said.

Detectives spent much of Friday morning searching the yard, combing for any evidence. They also interviewed several neighbors, who police say often live in fear of giving them tips.

"Sometimes it's very difficult because they are worried about retaliation," Smiley said. "They don't necessarily want to become involved, but by the same token, we're very fortunate in a sense that neighbors recognize that they have a responsibility to keep their community safe as well."

Police were still searching for suspects Friday afternoon and couldn't speculate on a motive. Neighbors say Trabue had been at a house party just before he was shot, but police weren't able to immediately confirm that information.

Anyone with information is asked to call the anonymous crime LMPD crime tipline at 574-LMPD (574-5673).

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