Jeffersonville police show bodycam footage of armed man shot by officer

The Jeffersonville Police Department provided an update on the armed man who was shot by an officer earlier this month.
Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 10:41 AM EDT|Updated: Mar. 21, 2023 at 12:28 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Jeffersonville Police Department gave an update Tuesday about the armed man who was shot by an officer earlier this month.

It happened on March 9 at an apartment complex on East 8th Street. Police said 44-year-old Robert William Atkins shot a handgun in the air and pointed it toward officers before being shot.

He was rushed to the University of Louisville Hospital and later died.

”I see the factors and the variables here,” Jeffersonville police chief Kenny Kavanaugh said. “And I stand with confidence and trust before you today to tell you I know that these police officers did everything within their reasonable power to do everything appropriately and correctly.”

Three different body cameras were presented out of the five officers that were on the scene. In the footage, officers are seen with the witness, who noticed Adkins outside waving a gun.

Adkins can be heard shooting his gun into the air, then officers spread out to form an L-shaped position. They’re shown and heard discussing non-lethal options.

”You can imagine how dangerous that situation is,” JPD major Joshua Lynch said. “And at that moment, the suspect is going to fire again when they are out in the open. Again in proximity.”

As police get into formation around the building, Adkins is said to have walked toward officers with his weapon pointed at them.

Three officers shoot, hitting Adkins in his leg and torso, while police locate his weapon and immediately render aid.

Police said Adkins had a mental evaluation at a hospital the day before the shooting but was released. Officers said they learned from his family that Adkins was trained in the military and likely struggled with substance abuse.

”We have to look at how we can better take care of our veterans and make sure that when we return them to society, we are doing everything in our capacity to be able to support them for serving our county and making the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms and our liberties,” Kavanaugh said.

”I think we can all sit here and say that mental health issues across the country nationwide are an issue,” Col. Michael ‘Scott’ McVoy said. “They’ve been brought to light, especially during the COVID era and afterward. I think hospitals are, at some times, overwhelmed with mental health issues. I think police unfortunately are, injected into, and what you witnessed, was a police officer or police officers having to respond to a call, judgmental health state, provide what I would describe as a high level of life-saving care after the incident, and also to do their jobs to protect themselves as well as their community.”

The five Jeffersonville officers involved are on temporary assignment as the Indiana State Police investigation continues.

Watch the Jeffersonville Police Department update below. Viewer discretion is advised since the bodycam video is being shown:

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