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Broken eye glasses led to arrest of Travis Nagdy’s alleged killer

Published: Dec. 15, 2020 at 6:47 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The killing of Travis Nagdy, a popular figure in Louisville’s Black Lives Matter movement, led to high amounts of public pressure to find the gunman. A number of Nagdy’s friends and fellow protesters made public claims in their calls for justice.

Monday, Louisville Metro Police officers, FBI agents and a number of other law enforcement officers from several other agencies delivered what they’d been calling for: an arrest which includes federal charges against Nagdy’s alleged killer.

WAVE 3 News Troubleshooters got a copy of the federal affidavit, detailing how authorities worked the case and pieced together the clues.

Nagdy was reportedly shot and killed on Nov. 23 in the 2100 block of Crittenden Drive.

Police got a call about shots fired, and when they arrived, they found Nagdy had been shot three times. Nagdy’s girlfriend, who had just gotten out of his car, told officers she had heard him arguing with man before the shooting.

LMPD found surveillance video that captured the incident while canvassing the neighborhood. In it, they saw a man approach Nagdy who was standing by his white Mazda CX-5. They argue before the man pulls out a gun and fires, according to the arrest affidavit.

The man, later identified as Ashton Nally, is seen getting into Nagdy’s car and speeding away.

It wasn’t long before Nally reportedly crashed the vehicle at Lynn Street and Emmet Avenue. He fled the scene, but he left something behind that stood out to an LMPD officer: a pair of broken glasses. The officer noticed one lens fell out during the crash.

The discovery of the glasses stood out to Nagdy’s girlfriend; she told officers they didn’t belong to Nagdy.

Days later on Nov. 30, LMPD investigators received an anonymous tip stating Nally had shot and killed Nagdy, and then crashed the vehicle. The tipster also told LMPD Nally had thrown the gun away at a White Castle on Preston Highway.

Investigators were able to find video of Nally running down the street after the wreck.

On Dec. 2, the affidavit states police got a second tip from someone who knew Nally and had tried to help him after the shooting and crash. That person said they’d seen text messages where Nally admitted to the shooting because Nagdy “refused” to turn over his vehicle. The tipster stated Nally said he’d warned the victim three separate times that he’d shoot him over the car.

The documents state Nally had plans to flee to Illinois where he had a relative.

In the meantime, law enforcement was already tracking his toll records.

Authorities also learned where Nally had purchased his glasses and obtained a receipt of the purchase. They went back to the store where they were able to match the purchase to those broken glasses the LMPD officer found at the crash site.

Another close friend of Nally’s later gave a statement to law enforcement confirming the information provided by one of the tipsters.

Nally’s mother also told authorities her son had called her for a ride after the incident and appeared distraught. She stated her son “had many demons” inside him, but she did not say Nally told her what happened.

Authorities didn’t stop there. LMPD also obtained a search warrant for Nally’s Gmail account which showed he’d “continuously” searched for recent Louisville homicides, how to delete social media accounts, and hotels reservations.

Detectives then tracked Nally’s travels to Madisonville, about two hours south of Louisville, where according to the affidavit, it appeared he lived. He was taken into custody Sunday, and he’ll remain in federal custody until his initial court appearance Monday afternoon.

Nally is facing a federal carjacking charge, which carries a maximum sentence of death, a fine of $250,000, and no more than three years of supervised release.

Homicide charges are expected Tuesday.

“Working with our federal, state, and local partners, the FBI is committed to fostering safe communities by removing violent criminals from our neighborhoods,” Robert Brown, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Louisville Field Office, said.

Multiple vigils have been organized in memory of Nagdy’s by his family and friends.

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