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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A botched robbery and hostage situation at a KFC restaurant came to a violent end with the suspect being shot and killed after an exchange of gunfire with police.
The coroner's office says 30-year-old Carlos Runyon, who lived in the Newburg area, was pronounced dead at the scene at 12:27 Sunday of a single gunshot wound to the upper chest.
The shootout with police ended in a nearby neighborhood in Fern Creek, but began around 7:55 a.m. Sunday when officers were responding to a holdup alarm at a KFC restaurant in the 6600 block of Bardstown Road.
Officers there found the window near the drive thru had been broken, and then noticed people inside who were bound and a suspect wearing a bandana, said LMPD Police Chief Steve Conrad. It's not clear how many people were taken hostage.
Conrad said his officers immediately called for the SWAT team and hostage negotiators. But before they could arrive, the suspect left the fast food chain with a hostage, who later managed to escape.
"We don't know if the hostage freed themselves or if (the suspect) let them go," Conrad told reporters Sunday.
Minutes later, officers found the suspect pointing a gun at his own head, Conrad said. Officers continued to pursue the suspect on foot in a nearby Fern Creek neighborhood off Beulah Church Road. During the chase, Hazel Mattingly says officers ran through her yard as she and her husband Bob were getting ready to go to the grocery.
"I had just opened the back door and one of (the officers) hollered, 'Don't come out, shut the door,'" Mattingly told WDRB News.
Hazel complied, saying the officers tried to scale her privacy fence but couldn't and took off down the road. She later heard gunshots. "I heard the gunshots and things like that and seen people running and that's it," Mattingly said.
Conrad told reporters the suspect fired shots at "our officers, and one officer returned fire. At least preliminarily it looks as if that officer shot and killed the suspect."
Officer Russell Carver, the officer police say shot the suspect, has been placed on administrative duties, which is standard procedure.
Police records show Carver has received eleven commendations and one disciplinary action. LMPD says a review of his file did not locate any earlier use of force reports.
The disciplinary action involved policy violations regarding court appearances. Much more typical were commendations ranging from rescuing a boy from a freezing swimming pool to gathering information said to have avoided gang violence during the 2004 Kentucky Derby festivities.
An officer at the scene could later be seen putting away what appeared to be shotgun as investigators with the department's public integrity unit combed over the area and began interviewing witnesses.
With the motive for the botched robbery unclear, the shooting afterwards rattled nerves and neighbors like Hazel and her husband.
"Well it's just scary. Kids have all told me to keep my doors locked and I don't do it but I bet you I do it from now on," said Mattingly.
Rick Maynard, a spokesman for KFC's corporate office in Louisville, released the following statement:
"We're very thankful that our employees are safe, as that is our top priority. As this is an ongoing investigation, LMPD would be the best source for any additional information on the situation."