Ky. suspect accidentally shot himself while fleeing, federal agent says

A man who tried to pull a gun while fleeing from a police officer Wednesday night accidentally shot himself in the leg

By Daniel Desrochers and Morgan Eads
Lexington Herald-Leader

LEXINGTON, Ky. — A man who tried to pull a gun while fleeing from a Lexington police officer Wednesday night accidentally shot himself in the leg, according to a court affidavit from a federal agent.

Federal court records say that the man, identified as Marcellis Means, shot himself in the right thigh while trying to pull a gun. A Lexington police officer, identified in the court records as Ichiro Vance, “discharged his firearm in defense of himself” but it is believed that all of the officer’s rounds missed Means, the court record states.

The Kentucky State Police Critical Incident Response Team is investigating the shooting.

The officer was responding to the report of a burglary on Patchen Drive off Richmond Road at about 7 p.m. when the officer tried to make a traffic stop, police Chief Lawrence Weathers said at a press conference Wednesday night. The man identified in court records as Means was driving the car when it was stopped and a woman was the passenger.

As the officer approached the car, the man jumped out and ran, Weathers said. At the time of the Wednesday press conference, police said there was a short foot chase and shots were fired, injuring the man in the “lower body.” They said at the time that man’s injuries were not thought to be life-threatening.

State police did not immediately release the man’s name, but federal court records state that Means is the man charged in the incident. A federal affidavit by a special agent with the bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, says that Means tried to pull a firearm from the waistband of his pants while he ran from a Lexington officer, identified in the federal court documents as Vance.

According to the federal court complaint, Means shot himself in the leg while trying to withdraw the gun from the waistband of his pants. The court document says officer Vance “discharged his firearm in defense of himself, but it is believed that all rounds fired by (Officer) Vance missed” Means.

Means then “completed drawing the firearm from his waistband and discarded the firearm” while running from the officer.

Means has since been released from the hospital and taken to the Fayette County jail. He is facing a federal charge of being a felon in possession of a handgun, according to court records.

A gun was recovered at the scene, according to police and court records.

The federal agent’s affidavit also says that Means was in possession of a “quantity of suspected crack cocaine and heroin” and that he had a previous felony conviction for assault in 2015.

State police also said Thursday that rumors on social media that the man had been shot in the back were not true.

Trooper Bernis Napier said in Wednesday night’s press conference, ”We’re going to try to do as many interviews as they can, especially in the area to see if they can get any witnesses and any surrounding video from the businesses in the area.”

The woman in the car involved in the traffic stop was not injured, Lexington police said. State police said Thursday that she was arrested and is facing charges. They also said the woman is 18 years old, but did not release her name or her charges.

Police said Wednesday night that the Lexington officer was wearing a body camera at the time of the shooting, though it was not immediately released whether the camera was activated during the incident. Weathers said Wednesday night that any footage from the body camera would immediately be turned over to state police for their investigation.

The Lexington Police Department’s Public Integrity Unit will also conduct an internal review. The officer involved will be placed on administrative assignment pending the outcome of the review.

©2019 the Lexington Herald-Leader (Lexington, Ky.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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