Questions remain about reason for deadly standoff with police - News, Weather & Sports

Questions remain about reason for deadly standoff with police

Del Aukerman (Source: Facebook) Del Aukerman (Source: Facebook)
Sherry Booth Sherry Booth
Trooper Kendra Wilson Trooper Kendra Wilson
Tim Reno Tim Reno
The duplex where the shooting took place. The duplex where the shooting took place.

SHELBYVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Sherry Booth thought she had a good, if nosy neighbor, in the man who lived in the other side of her Grays Hill Court duplex. Then her daughter called her a little after 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. 

"She was scared to death," Booth said. "The police (sic) was banging on the door. Told her to hurry up and get out because he had a gun."

Kentucky State Police said a man met Shelbyville Police at his front door with a long gun when they tried to serve him a warrant for assault and menacing. Thursday, Shelby County Deputy Coroner Ittin Russell identified the man as Del Aukerman.

His Facebook page makes clear his fondness for exotic firearms, motorcycles and military memorabilia.

"The subject barricaded himself inside his residence and refused to cooperate with negotiators," said Trooper Kendra Wilson, public information officer for KSP's Frankfort post.

State police brought in the Special Operations Unit. A standoff ensued over the next five-and-one-half hours. It ended in gunfire, troopers say, after Aukerman opened fire on a remote-control robot trying to enter the home.

"It sounded like World War III," said Tim Reno, a neighbor. "And you could tell when the first shots went out, it was most likely him. It was muffled, it was far away."

"The return gunfire, the subject was killed," Trooper Wilson said.

Ten hours later, investigators still were collecting evidence from the yard and from inside the duplex. Police allowed neighbors to return to their homes after they had evacuated all within the line of fire. Booth hadn't returned home when her husband telephoned her. 

"He told me there's bullet holes in our walls," said Booth. "Straight through."

Wilson said state police are still trying to determine how many shots were fired and by whom.

Standard procedure is to place officers involved in shootings on paid administrative leave until internal investigations are completed. Wilson was unable to confirm how many Special Operations team members would be questioned.

Neighbors were at a loss to explain what prompted the confrontation that cost Aukerman his life. One item on Aukerman's Facebook page may offer a clue.

"The Greek phrase Molon Labe or ‘Come and Take Them' is a classical expression of defiance spoken by King Leonidas in response to the Persian Army's demand that the Spartans surrender their weapons at the Battle of Thermopylae", the illustration reads.

"He seemed like he cared, and he put all of us in danger," said Reno. "Give yourself up. One night in jail, two nights in jail, time in jail, it's not worth your life and others."

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