LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – It was a police-involved shooting, but the victim says he wasn't sure he was dealing with a police officer before he was hit with the bullet.
"Every day I think about why this happened," said Ishmael Gough.
Every day since the early morning hours of September 5, 2012, Gough has asked himself that question. For the first time he is speaking publicly.
"[Chauncey] Carthen came up to my car with his gun drawn," said Gough. "He was in regular clothes. He never showed me a badge but he had a gun drawn."
Gough explains he got out of the car, following Carthen's orders to lie down on the ground until "in my head I'm thinking I'm about to get robbed."
Gough believed Carthen, a Louisville Metro Police narcotics detective, was just a guy with a gun.
"He [Carthen] never put on no lights to say he was a police officer," said Gough. "He never showed me a badge."
Gough said something in his head told him to get up.
"So I got up off the ground," said Gough. "As soon as I got up he just started waving his gun toward me like ... he shot me in the right leg."
Gough screamed for help and so did someone listening to his plea. They called 911.
"He ain't got no uniform, no badge, no nothing," the caller told the 911 operator.
Even as helped arrived Gough was still confused.
"He just stood over me with a gun," Gough said. "They said ‘you know the procedure - drop your weapon' and he wound up doing it but not ‘til the fourth time they asked him."
The officers on the scene knew Carthen was one of their own, but Gough said he didn't.
"I find out on the news that he was really a police and he was drunk," said Gough.
Carthen has not publicly talked about what happened at 24th and Chestnut, but Steve Schroering, Carthen's attorney said he is waiting for that day.
"It's been about a yearlong investigation and Mr. Carthen is actually relieved in one sense that he can finally tell his story in court," said Schroering.
For Gough, he says time has not healed his wounds.
"Cause I'm thinking police are out here to protect me. To keep me safe. Come to find out that he's a police and he's drunk and almost killed me."
Schroering believes Carthen took a breathalyzer test. However, those records have not been released and are still sealed as a part of the LMPD's public integrity unit investigation.
Carthen pled not guilty in court on September 3 to charges of wanton endangerment, official misconduct and drunk driving. He remains on paid administrative leave.
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