Murder suspect fires at police during routine traffic stop

Murder suspect fires at police during routine traffic stop
Tracell Nunn (Source: LMDC)
Tracell Nunn (Source: LMDC)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - What started as a routine traffic stop turned into a dangerous situation Monday night.

The incident happened just off Cane Run Road, as officers found themselves getting shot at by a man wanted for murder.

Louisville Metro Police said it's very lucky no one got hurt and said it just goes to show, officers never know what they're getting into even when they pull someone over.

LMPD Deputy Chief Colonel Michael Sullivan said, "Situations can turn in a mere second from something routine into something that turns critical."

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That's what happened Monday when two 2nd Division LMPD officers made a routine traffic stop and pulled over a car with expired plates on Kramer Lane near Matthews Avenue.

They had no idea one of the people in the car was a murder suspect from Paducah.

Tracell Nunn, 27, is charged in the murder of Gary Johnson, 46. Police in Paducah said Nunn and two other men were involved in a shooting outside the Brickhouse nightclub. Johnson, a man believed to be a bystander, was shot and later died. 

Police have been looking for Nunn since that April killing. Monday night, after the car he was in got pulled over, police said Nunn bolted then fired at officers.

"You understand your own mortality when you're in those situations," Sullivan said.

The officers were able to control the situation without firing on Nunn.

"Just because somebody's fired upon it doesn't necessarily mean we're going to be firing back," Sullivan said. "We spend a whole lot of time over this past year talking about de-escalation and how we can de-escalate circumstances and keep everybody safe because we want to go home safe to our families every night, but so does the public and so do the people that were trying to apprehend."

Nunn ran into a wooded area, the officers called for backup got the area surrounded and a K-9 eventually cornered Nunn. He had a bite wound and was put in an ambulance to be treated at an area hospital before he was taken to Louisville Metro Corrections. 

Sullivan said he could not go into specifics, as the case is under investigation, but said it was dangerous and stressful for the officers involved and said when officers are shot at LMPD's peer support team and police psychologist are a huge benefit. The officers are stressed and they may run it over in their mind for some time of how the situation could have played out differently.

Nunn will likely face charges here before he's taken back to Paducah.     

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