Grand jury won't indict LMPD officer involved in shooting

LMPD officer Sarah Stumler (Source: LMPD)
LMPD officer Sarah Stumler (Source: LMPD)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A Jefferson County grand jury did not indict an LMPD officer who shot a suspect during a search of an abandoned home in 2017.

Bruce Warrick was shot last year as LMPD officers were searching a home off Magazine Street. Officer Sarah Stumler encountered Warrick hiding behind a mattress shortly before she shot him.

"In attempting to turn on the flash light that is mounted to the gun she actually pulled the trigger," Commonwealth Attorney Thomas Wine said.

Wine said his office wrestled with the case for months. Details captured on the officer's body camera made it particularly difficult.

The footage released to the public in April 2017 showed Warrick did not have a weapon and Stumler simultaneously commanded Warrick to show his hands and fired her weapon.

"We did not recommend to indict or not indict," Wine said. "We felt we needed to have the community hear the case."

The community group Standing Up for Racial Justice follows officer involved shootings. Spokesperson David Horvath said he has seen the uneven playing field between law enforcement and civilians unfold.

"The officer only needs to feel a reasonable apprehension when they are on the scene," Horvath said. "The verdict is very common, and it is expected almost always in these cases."

Horvath doesn't know what the Grand Jury was told but he remembers seeing the body camera video.

"In these cases, there is never any time for de-escalation or even to verify that there is any danger," Horvath said.

Warrick recovered and his case was one of six officer involved shootings investigated by LMPD's Public Integrity Unit in 2017. It is the only case to be heard by a Grand Jury.

Attorney David Yates has worked for the Commonwealth Attorney's Office. He said during Grand Jury an officer who knows the case presents evidence.

"The defendant is usually not present," Yates said. "They will not have council present."

FOP President Nicolai Jilek said the organization will not be making a statement.  LMPD tweeted that Officer Stumler remains on administrative reassignment.

In February, Warrick filed a lawsuit against the City of Louisville, LMPD and Stumler. According to the lawsuit, Warrick was trying to comply with Stumler's demands when he was shot.

The suit also claims Stumler used excessive force.

Warrick's lawyer said the Grand Jury outcome does not affect the civil suit he filed for his client.

Read the full lawsuit below:

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