Man charged following discovery of body behind E-town shopping center

Man charged following discovery of body behind E-town shopping center
Austen Dakota Green (Source: Hardin County Detention Center)
Austen Dakota Green (Source: Hardin County Detention Center)

ELIZABETHTOWN, KY (WAVE) – A man was arrested on Friday in connection with a body found shot to death behind the Lakeshore Shopping Plaza.

Austen Dakota Green, 20, of Elizabethtown, was taken into custody on Wednesday night. Green was charged with murder and tampering with physical evidence in the death of Anthony Gullotto, 26, of Radcliff.

Officers discovered Gullotto's body after they were called to Lakeshore Plaza, located on Dixie Highway, around 6 a.m. Tuesday, according to Elizabethtown Police Department spokesman John Thomas.

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Thomas said Green admitted to the shooting when he was questioned by detectives. He told detectives he was behind the building with Gullotto when Gullotto attempted to punch and rob another man, which prompted Green to shoot Gullotto four times.

Green said after the shooting he drove away and tossed the handgun out of the window. He then returned to the scene to ensure Gullotto was dead and collected shell casings. Thomas said Green threw away the shell casings at his home.

Green was booked into the Hardin County Detention Center.

Gullotto's death was the first murder in Elizabethtown in 2017.

Nearby businesses said they were relieved a suspect is behind bars. Gullotto was discovered in the same parking lot that the Brightside Childcare and Learning Center uses. The childcare center is owned by Brandi and Jonathan Cook.

"Why would somebody be so negligent, so selfish, to be so dangerous to our children and everybody else in the business area," Brandi Cook said. "Our children are our life and we provide a lot and care a lot."

"This is our number one priority, to make sure our children are safe," Jonathan Cook said. "Me and my wife will do what we have to do to guarantee that. We never want any of our parents to feel uneasy or unsafe."

The Cooks said they plan on continuing to have high security in the area.

"Are we still going to secure our building, yes, are we still police patrol this area, yes because if it can happen once, it can happen again," Brandi Cook said

Anyone with additional information in this case is asked to call the Elizabethtown Police Department at (270) 765-4125.

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