Police investigating officer-involved shooting

Published: Apr. 29, 2012 at 10:43 PM EDT|Updated: May. 24, 2012 at 5:25 PM EDT
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Wayne Pitts (Source: LMDC)
Wayne Pitts (Source: LMDC)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – No one was injured Sunday night in a shootout between police and a man suspected of robbing a convenience store at gunpoint.

The chain of events started around 5 p.m. Sunday when police were called to a robbery at East End Gas & Food on Blankenbaker Parkway.

"It happened really fast," said convenience store clerk James Begley of the robbery, which was caught on camera.

Police said Wayne M. Pitts Jr., 43, filled up his gas tank, then walked into the store and asked for a fountain drink.

Begley said Pitts walked behind the counter, lifted his shirt and showed a gun before making his demands. "'Turn around and open the register.' I did exactly what he said," said Begley. "I saw the gun briefly."

The robber then walked past a customer as Begley called police.

"Very thankful that he just took the money and didn't hurt anybody," Begley said. "I was more concerned for the customers."

The robber left in a red Ford Escort. A description of the vehicle was put out to police. A little while later, officers spotted  the vehicle abandoned on westbound Interstate 64 near the Cannons Lane exit. Police said they found Pitts nearby on Winchester Road.

"As a result of that, that individual who we believe robbed that store, fired a shot at one of our officers," said Dwight Mitchell, a spokesperson for the Louisville Metro Police Department. "That officer did return fire. Did not strike that individual."

Susan Hurley was in her front yard gardening when she heard a shot, then saw police.

"I was scared," Hurley said. "I was frightened for my life. I was scared. In stupidity, I walked down to see what was going on, then realized this guy has a gun and is shooting around. I could've put my own life in jeopardy."

A police dog helped nab Pitts.

"The good thing in this situation is nobody was hurt," Mitchell said. "The individual was arrested."

Police said the officer involved in the shooting is doing fine. He was placed on paid administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation, which is standard procedure. Meanwhile, Pitts is facing multiple charges. LMPD's public integrity unit is investigating.

Copyright 2012 WAVE News. All rights reserved.