Suspect fatally shot by Kentucky officers

(JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ky.) -- A wanted man was fatally wounded by Jefferson County police yesterday after leading officers on a foot chase through a Pleasure Ridge Park neighborhood and refusing to drop his pistol, police said.

The man, Michael James Crain, 23, was shot multiple times yesterday afternoon. He died at University of Louisville Hospital, said Officer Robert Biven, a police spokesman.

Crain, of Louisville, died at 7:04 p.m. in the emergency room, said Jeff Moody, a deputy Jefferson County coroner. An autopsy is set for this morning.

Police said Crain, who was white, had been wanted for questioning in a homicide.

Officer Stacey Redmon, a police spokeswoman, said there were outstanding felony warrants against Crain.

Neither she nor Biven would disclose the name of the homicide victim or other details of that case, but Biven said police had been looking for Crain since at least Monday. They did not know the nature of the felonies.

About eight or nine officers were involved in the chase, but only four were thought to have fired shots, and those four have been placed on administrative leave as a matter of routine, Biven said.

None of the officers' names have been released.

The shooting occurred about 3:30 p.m. behind a house at 8550 Sally Drive.

Officers had first spotted the man about four blocks away on Minette Circle and chased him through yards to Sally Drive. In the back yard of a red-brick house, ''he waved the handgun in a threatening manner toward the officers,'' Redmon said.

The police then ''gave him verbal commands to drop the weapon,'' Biven said. ''He refused to do so, and they fired upon him.''

None of the police were injured, but ''it's a very traumatic event for officers when they're involved in something like this,'' Biven said.

He said that there was no reason to think the officers' actions were improper but that police are investigating.

The incident rattled the nerves of some of the neighbors, many of whom came out of their homes to see what was going on.

''It kind of scared me,'' said Anna Fentress, 79, who lives on the opposite side of Sally Drive from where the shooting occurred and saw part of the chase. ''I'm glad they got out of my driveway.''

A neighbor, Terry Priddy, said he was roused from his sleep by gunfire. Priddy, who works nights, saw two officers chasing a man and then ''I heard maybe eight or 10 shots, but there might have been a few more before I got woke up.''

Another neighbor, Jim McGuffin, who lives on Chase Road, one street over, said he heard even more shots.

''I heard I'd say at least 20'' and what sounded like multiple guns, he said.

Jason Sears, 22, who lives just a couple of doors down from the property where the shooting took place, said he had just pulled into his driveway when he saw two men running and then heard someone say, ''Get in the house.''

A few minutes later, Sears went outside and saw the wounded man being placed in an ambulance.

''It's just weird,'' he said. ''I'm freaked out about it. . . . We're all just trying to be at peace around here. The next thing you know you've got the police over here, shots being fired (and) somebody getting shot.''

Jefferson Police Fatally Shoot Armed Man After Chase Through Neighborhood Darla Carter, The Courier-Journal December 2, 2000, Saturday Met/Metro Copyright 2000 The Courier-Journal The Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY.) December 2, 2000, Saturday Met/Metro Terms and Conditions Copyright(c) 2000 LEXIS-NEXIS, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights Reserved.

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