LMDC officer whose gun went off at Kroger identified - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

LMDC officer whose gun went off at Kroger identified

The shooting happened in the parking lot of the Highlands Kroger at 2440 Bardstown Rd. (Source: Miles Jackson, WAVE 3 News) The shooting happened in the parking lot of the Highlands Kroger at 2440 Bardstown Rd. (Source: Miles Jackson, WAVE 3 News)
LMDC Officer John Thomas (Source: LMDC) LMDC Officer John Thomas (Source: LMDC)
One round was fired from the gun of a Louisville Metro Corrections officer. (Source: LMDC) One round was fired from the gun of a Louisville Metro Corrections officer. (Source: LMDC)
Tracy Dotson (Source: WAVE 3 News Archives) Tracy Dotson (Source: WAVE 3 News Archives)
Jose Reyes (Source: Andreina Centlivre, WAVE 3 News) Jose Reyes (Source: Andreina Centlivre, WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Two investigations are being conducted into how the gun of an off-duty Louisville Metro Corrections officer went off in a supermarket parking lot. 

The incident was reported just before 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at Highlands Kroger, 2440 Bardstown Road. 

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"Once anyone makes a threat, 'I have a gun,' while committing a crime, that changes the dynamic a little bit," said Tracy D. Dotson, president of FOP Lodge 77 which represents Metro Corrections officers.

Speaking on behalf of the corrections officer, John Thomas, Dotson said the officer followed procedure by reporting a suspected shoplifter to security while inside the store. Dotson also said the suspect did not stop for Kroger security.

"Our officer identified himself with his badge, according to reports the shoplifter then threatened that he had a gun," Dotson said. 

The suspect then left the store, Dotson said, and the off-duty officer followed him into the parking lot with his gun drawn.

"Our officer recognized not to shoot at the car but take evasive action and get out of the way," Dotson said, "and in the process of that, inadvertently a round went off."

The suspect got away in a vehicle and the LMDC officer claims the suspect attempted to run him over. No one was injured and Dotson says a report states the round hit a wheel rim of the car.

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"I am from a country where we are not used to people carrying guns everywhere they go," said Jose Reyes, a native of Spain.

Reyes has lived nearby and shopped at the Kroger for 14 years. The thought of guns being fired in the parking lot is startling.   

"It is just a means to create more violence and it is totally gratuitous," Reyes said.

Erin Grant, a Kroger spokesperson said, "We are very grateful there were no injuries during this incident and appreciate the incredibly quick response of officers on the scene."

Because a member of a Metro Government law enforcement agency was involved, an investigation is being conducted by the Louisville Metro Police Department's Public Integrity Unit. LMPD says they are following leads and investigating the alleged shoplifting, but are not releasing information about the suspect or the vehicle involved at this time.

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