Shepherdsville man reportedly beats elderly father to death after argument over car keys
Police say a fight took place when the victim tried to take his son's car keys away from him because he didn't want him driving drunk.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Shepherdsville Police said an elderly man who was severely beaten Monday night by his own son has died.
According to Maj. Mike O'Donnell of the Shepherdsville Police Department, the victim died on Tuesday. That man was identified as 78-year-old Paul J. Shepherd by the Jefferson County Coroner's Office Wednesday afternoon.
According to an arrest report, the incident occurred on Monday night on Tollview Drive, off of East Kentucky 44 in Shepherdsville.
Police say they were called to KentuckyOne Health Medical Center Jewish South just after 10 p.m. where they witnessed Paul Shepherd being treated for severe injuries. According to the arrest report, he had sustained two fractured vertebrae, and at the time was having extreme difficulty breathing, to the point where his life was at risk.
Police say a doctor told them that the man will never recover from these injuries -- and that it had to have been caused from "immediate trauma." He was transferred to a Louisville hospital, before he died on Tuesday.
Police arrested Joseph Shepherd, Paul's son, hours after the alleged attack and charged him with first-degree assault. He is currently being held in the Bullitt County Detention Center.
More charges could be coming, O'Donnell said.
Paul Shepherd's wife allegedly told officers that he had been attacked by his own son. Police say Paul Shepherd tried to take Joseph Shepherd's car keys because he didn't want him driving drunk. A fight ensued and the victim fell to the ground, when the injuries were sustained.
"There he was in the grass, saying I've killed my dad, I've killed my dad," said Jean Harper, Paul Shepherd's wife who witnessed the beating.
Harper said she called 911 while a neighbor tried giving Paul Shepherd CPR.
"She couldn't get the air down to him because his neck was broken," Harper said. "From that time, he never did wake up."
Harper said her husband always tried to help his son, who struggled with substance abuse.
"These kids who are on drugs and mix it w alcohol and go nuts, they're really not responsible for what they're doing," she said. "And then when they come to, they say, 'What have I done?'"
O'Donnell said an autopsy will be performed and the matter will be referred to the Commonwealth Attorney's office to determine whether or not the charge should be upgraded.
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