Police following leads after SWAT situation at gun shop ends

Police searched the crashed into the 111 Gun Shop early Tuesday
Police searched the crashed into the 111 Gun Shop early Tuesday

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - From night into day, SWAT Team Members surrounded a building, police searched nearby properties, and a community went on lockdown.  That's how things started Tuesday morning in part of Jeffersontown along Hurstbourne Parkway.

"It's chaos like you wouldn't believe," said Danita Mulcahy, who lives in the Regent Parks Apartment near the SWAT scene.

"We're sitting and waiting," for a period of three hours she said.  "We went and got some coffee and my son's here so we've just kind of been chatting back and forth."

While she couldn't get inside her home, her husband couldn't get out.

"He's at home and he needs to go to work and he can't get out to go to work because they won't let him come out and here we sit we want to go home and we can't go home so nobody's too happy right now," Mulcahy said around 8:30 Tuesday morning.

All that frustration and upheaval started just before 4:00 am Tuesday at Gun Works, also known as 111 Guns in the 9300 block of Hurstbourne Park Boulevard, when a driver slammed a white car into the business's front window.  That triggered the burglar alarm to go off and Jeffersontown police rushed to the scene.

Police now tell WAVE 3 News that they arrived to find a man standing by the business.  He told police he heard the crash, and went to see what happened.  He was taken into custody and questioned, but wasn't arrested.  After several hours, he was freed.

The driver of the car apparently was never able to be located.  It all caused concern that a suspect -- or suspects -- could have been inside the gun store, which is why the SWAT Team was called to the scene.

"That's what we didn't know at the time based on information that we had gotten from that individual that's why the swat team was assisting be cause it was a gun store and running on the side of caution," Dwight Mitchell with LMPD said.

Police feared it could have been what's called a smash and grab robbery.  That's where someone plows into a building then cashes in.  But with no apparent driver there or anyone else to find out if there were suspects inside, police erred on the side of caution.  While SWAT team members surrounded the business, they also hid in the grass of a nearby building.

"I just saw three swat guys down behind the sign laying on the ground," another Regent Parks Apartment resident said.

SWAT Team members canvassed the area in case someone was inside the building or took off with any weapons.  After carefully getting inside, they determined no one was inside.  While this day won't soon be forgotten…

"Everybody will remember this," Mulcahy said.

Everyone's just hoping there's not a repeat.

"It's surprising because its not a bad area over here.  It just makes me nervous but I just hope that its not an often occurrence," another resident said.

No one was allowed in or out of the nearby Regent Park apartment complex or other homes and businesses until the situation ended just after 9 a.m.  That includes workers and parents who drop their kids off at a near-by daycare.

Neighbors are upset that the gun shop was even allowed to operate so close to the daycare.

"They let the gun shop move in there and why they did that we'll never know because right beside that is a day care and they put all those kids in jeopardy," Mulcahy said.

Some school bus routes were also changed due to the ordeal.  Traffic was backed up along Hurstbourne Lane and surrounding streets during the five-hour operation, and interstate ramps were closed for a brief time.

All lanes of Hurstbourne Lane and Hurstbourne Parkway were reopened to traffic just before 10 a.m.

If you have any information, you are asked to call Jeffersontown police at 502-267-0503.

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