Deputies shoot, kill man alleged to have fled to avoid arrest - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Deputies shoot, kill man alleged to have fled to avoid arrest

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Two veterans of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department are facing questions after investigators say they shot and killed a man who led them on a car chase to avoid arrest. Two veterans of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department are facing questions after investigators say they shot and killed a man who led them on a car chase to avoid arrest.
Emily Benham Emily Benham
Lt. Col. Carl Yates Lt. Col. Carl Yates
Louisville Metro Police Department Sgt. Robert Biven Louisville Metro Police Department Sgt. Robert Biven

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Two veterans of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department are facing questions after investigators say they shot and killed a man who led them on a car chase to avoid arrest.

Emily Benham paid her new neighbor in the Bluegrass Mobile Home Park so little mind she couldn't even tell you his name.

[PREVIOUS STORY: Deputies shoot, kill man outside Louisville business]

"He probably hadn't been there any more than two week," she said Tuesday afternoon. "Seemed pretty quiet I guess."

But then his rental trailer got noisy about nine in the morning.

"Banging on the door," Benham said. "And I hear the Sheriff go ‘don't slam the door in my face again.'"

Jefferson County Deputy Rick Wilkerson, a 14-year-veteran, was serving a felony warrant out of Trimble County for flagrant failure to pay support, according to Lt. Col. Carl Yates, the Department spokesman.

"He says ‘that's not me' and the Deputy asked for identification," Yates said. "And he says I'll get you the  identification. Instead of getting the identification, he flees out the back door."

"He jumped into a Dodge pickup truck. A green one," Benham said.

Deputies Larry Elery and Ben Bryant would join the chase, until the man pulled off into the parking lot of HD Supply, in the 4600 block of Poplar Level Road.

"I started hearing gunshots," Benham said.

"It's our understanding that the man exited the vehicle with a knife," Yates said. "We believe he was close. At that point shots were fired."

Investigators believe both Elery, a 13-year-veteran, and Bryant, a 20 year veteran, fired shots.  Yates said a third deputy performed CPR, but the man died at the scene.

"It appears that there is some weapon on the ground over near the body of this individual," Louisville Metro Police Department Sgt. Robert Biven said.

Louisville Metro's Homicide and Public Integrity Units are investigating the deputies' conduct, at the Sheriff's request, Yates said.

"We do know that there are some witnesses here, that we are speaking to, as well as—we'll be looking for any surveillance video," Sgt. Biven said.

Investigators didn't allow HD Supply employees to leave for several hours. Lunch was brought in for them, an officer said.

Through it all, 16-year-old McKenzie Cook was trying to process what she was seeing.

"They kind of tracked in this building and started taping it off almost immediately," she said. "I thought it was crazy," she said. "I couldn't believe it happened across the street, it's intense."

The man's body lay in the parking lot for more than four hours while investigators processed the scene.

The  Jefferson County Coroner has not revealed the man's name.

Though typically Jefferson County deputies work solo while serving arrest warrants, "There's nothing routine about serving a felony warrant," Yates said. "The vast majority of the time, it is a very peaceful exchange – the subject is arrested and goes peacefully. This one didn't turn out that way."

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