Family of man shot by officer plans to sue LMPD
Family members of a man shot by an LMPD officer last Wednesday say they’re likely to pursue a civil lawsuit against the department and officer who fired the shot.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Family members of a man shot by an LMPD officer last Wednesday say they’re likely to pursue a civil lawsuit against the department and officer who fired the shot.
It happened in the 2600 block of Magazine Street near 26th Street. Chief Steve Conrad said First Division officers responded to a complaint just after 11:30 a.m. of a man doing drugs next to an abandoned house.
When officers arrived, they were told the man had gone into that house. More officers arrived, and three of them entered the house and announced their presence, Conrad said.
They searched the house, and upon leaving, Officer Sarah Stumler saw Bruce Warrick hiding behind a mattress in one of the rooms. She ordered Warrick, a black male, to show his hands.
Stumler then fired one shot, striking Warrick in the abdomen. Conrad said the officers called EMS and provided first aid while they waited for EMS to arrive. He explained why a taser was not used.
"When officers are going into a situation where they don't know what sort of force they may encounter, it is not unusual to see officers with their weapons out," Chief Conrad said.
Stumler, who has been with LMPD since 2008, has lost her police powers, which is protocol. During her time on the force, she has been disciplined twice -- once for being at fault in an accident and once for not appearing in court.
“Evidently she was startled. For her to shoot him like that it was unnecessary,” said Terence Warrick, Bruce Warrick’s cousin. “She didn't even give him a chance to put his hands up or anything.”
Warrick’s family is now represented by Louisville attorney Thomas Clay in the matter.
“When I first saw that video, I was shocked,” Clay said on Sunday. “I think there's no doubt that there's going to be civil litigation over this.”
In the body camera video, officers can be heard multiple times asking for anyone inside the house to show themselves. Warrick did not obey those commands.
“We don't know what his condition was,” Clay said when asked by WDRB why Warrick didn’t show himself. “We don't know if he was under the influence of any controlled substances, we don't know if he was asleep. I don't know the answers to those questions.”
LMPD’s Public Integrity Unit will complete it’s investigation before the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office will decide if criminal charges against Stumler will be filed.
“It's a rarity that there will be a criminal prosecution followed by a conviction,” Clay added.
Jefferson County Judge Stephanie Burke released the following statement about Warrick:
"On behalf of the Jefferson County Drug Court team, we are deeply saddened to learn of Wednesday's events. As a graduate of our program, Bruce was a generous and positive influence on others and he worked hard to achieve success in his own recovery. Our thoughts and prayers are with Bruce and everyone involved."
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