Thorntons’ security guard acted in self defense, lawyer claims

A judge ruled there was probable cause to support the murder charge.
Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 4:50 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - New video shows some of the final moments between a Thorntons’ security guard and the man he is charged for shooting and killing.

A judge ordered Tavon Parrish to remain in jail on a $500,000 bond after his lawyer tried to argue the shooting was in self defense.

Police described the timeline between when the victim, David Dickson, walked into the Thorntons on First and Broadway, when he confronted security guard Tavon Parrish, and when Dickson was shot and killed.

“If Mr. Parrish was some sort of hot-headed security guard, he’d have shot him the first time,” said Parrish’s attorney, Keith Kamenish.

He said his client felt threatened by Dickson after repeatedly telling him to leave.

“You hear the two men arguing, and you hear the guys escalated voice and you hear ‘I’m going to beat your head in,’” Kamenish said. “And if you look at the video, time and time again, it sure as heck isn’t Mr. Parrish saying it.”

His key piece of evidence is video from outside the store showing some of the final moments of that confrontation, with Parrish pointing the gun at Dickson as he comes back in the store.

LMPD detective Stephen Snider told the judge when he watched the store’s security video, he saw Dickson come into the Thorntons, get two cans of beer from the cooler, go over to the soda fountain, and then head toward the cash register.

The detective said Parrish confronted Dickson over a beer in his pocket.

Snider said he saw Parrish pull out his gun and point it at Dickson, before holstering it and pushing Dickson through the store. He said Parrish told him Dickson lunged at him at one point.

“It is clear that he did swipe the gun away from him, but he did not lunge at him, it’s clearly evident on the video,” Snider said.

The prosecutor, Rebecca Schroering, said there is enough evidence to support the murder charge.

“You don’t get to shoot somebody because they don’t leave the premises, his life was never in danger, he was never threatened, he was the aggressor the entire time,” Schroering said.

WAVE Troubleshooters found the company employing Parrish did not have a valid license with the city.

Thorntons’ told the Troubleshooters it fired the company.

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