Attorney: Cop shot at Dirt Bowl saved by cell phone, survived suspect’s ‘armor-piercing’ bullets
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A Louisville Metro police detective said the man accused of shooting an LMPD officer at the Dirt Bowl used armor-penetrating bullets.
Herbert Lee appeared before a judge Monday for a probable cause hearing, where LMPD Public Integrity Unit detective James Thomas provided more details about the shooting that took place on July 10.
Lee is facing several charges, including attempted murder of a police officer and using restricted ammunition.
Monday afternoon, Thomas told the judge how officers found Lee at Shawnee Park.
“The detail commanders recognized Herbert Lee as being a subject who had outstanding warrants,” Thomas said. “He then went and verified those warrants and called four to five officers over and said, ‘look after the Dirt Bowl is over with, after the last game is over, we’re going to go and approach him.”
Lee took off running and police gave chase.
According to LMPD, Lee fell down at one point during the chase, reached into his satchel, pulled a 9mm Glock and shot at the officers.
Thomas said Monday the gun was stolen from Campbellsburg, Kentucky.
One bullet hit officer Josh Pickering in his bullet-resistant vest, shattering his cell phone.
“So the ammunition that was in the weapon is a frangible type of ammunition that has plastic insert in the hollow point that is used to penetrate a bulletproof vest,” Thomas told the judge Monday.
Thomas also said investigators found five casings from Lee’s gun at Shawnee Park, insinuating he shot at officers several times.
The prosecuting attorney argued the officer’s shattered cell phone saved his life.
“He hit officer Pickering square in the chest, square in the chest with the hollow-point [bullet], restricted ammunition,” the attorney said. “But for the cell phone that was in Officer Pickering’s vest, I submit to you that we would be sitting here with very different charges. That cell phone being in there saved his life, I believe the evidence will show.”
Lee’s attorney argued the attempted murder of a police charge be reduced because Lee was firing while running away from police.
The judge upheld the judge and forwarded the case to a grand jury.
Lee is expected to go before the grand jury in August.
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