Attempted murder charge dropped in shooting of 12-year-old

Michael Bishop (source: Louisville Metro Department of Corrections)
Michael Bishop (source: Louisville Metro Department of Corrections)
Jacob Eberle (source: family photo)
Jacob Eberle (source: family photo)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A Jefferson County grand jury has returned an indictment against the Glenmary man charged with shooting a 12-year-old boy. Michael Bishop is now charged with assault, wanton endangerment and tampering with physical evidence. The attempted murder charge against him was dropped.

Police say Bishop fired a shotgun in the direction of a group of boys running from his home after playing a prank. Jacob Eberle was shot.

"Yeah, I'm a little bit disappointed, but legally I understand why," said Bart McMahon, Eberle's uncle and attorney.

"Criminal attempt murder sounds awful," said Brian Butler, Bishop's attorney. "Obviously we're pleased that that charge is not there."

Police say the boys were playing a game known as "Ding-Dong-Ditch!" in the Glenmary neighborhood when Bishop stepped onto his porch and fired the shotgun.

"He never rang Mr. Bishop's doorbell," said McMahon. "He got on the front porch saw Mr. Bishop, he racked his gun, they were running. Jacob's memory is that he was shot in the street."

The blast, which struck Eberle in the back and shoulder, kept him hospitalized in intensive care for several days. Eberle was released from the hospital Monday and continues recovering at home. A "Welcome Home Jacob" sign was posted outside the Eberle home.

Butler says Bishop, a retired LG&E employee with no criminal history, remains free after posting bond.

"He was not out there looking to just hurt a child," said Butler. "He had no idea this was a child. And he was awakened and came to the door and didn't know if someone was trying to break in or not."

"This wasn't an accidental firing at Jacob," said McMahon. "We believe he was aimed at under the circumstances. The medical evaluation says he has 92 pellets in his back alone. The shotgun shell by my information was loaded with 200 pellets."

Bishop is expected to face his new charges June 27. Eberle's family has filed a civil lawsuit against Bishop.

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