Uncle of woman shot and killed by Shelbyville police officer says he wants answers
Ashleigh Bertucci said his niece was in her parked car on the phone when the officer shot her Monday night.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- On Friday, the uncle of the woman shot and killed by Shelbyville Police earlier this week spoke out and he said he wants answers.
He said his niece, Ashleigh Bertucci, was in her parked car on the phone when the officer shot her Monday night. Her uncle, Tom Bertucci, said she was sick, but he never imagined her life would end in violence.
"She took an overdose of medication over this past weekend," Tom Bertucci said. "The biggest question we have (is) what made you think violent force was needed?"
On Friday, police revealed that Frank Fallis fired the fatal shot that killed the 31-year-old mother. The 46-year-old officer has only been with the Shelbyville Police Department a few months but has 25 years of law enforcement experience as a retiree from the Frankfort Police Department.
"The officer came upon an emotionally distraught young woman who was essentially trapped in her car," Tom Bertucci said. "He could have cordoned off the area and made sure she wasn't in harm's way, and then the worse thing that could have happened is she would have harmed herself."
Fallis went looking for Bertucci after St. Matthews Police made two runs to her home earlier in the day, concerned over calls she had plans to harm herself or her ex-boyfriend.
"She was armed with a firearm," said Trooper Bernie Napier with Kentucky State Police.
Bertucci was found across the street from her ex-boyfriend's Shelbyville home. She never made it to the door.
Police are not commenting right now on the specific actions that prompted Fallis to fire, but they said two vital pieces of evidence will help determine whether Bertucci's shooting was justified: dash-cam video and a phone call.
"The officer came around the passenger side of the car, and she was sitting in the driver's seat talking, and the last thing that person on the other end of the phone heard was her say, 'The police are here now,'" Tom Bertucci said. "And all she said she heard was a big pop and white noise."
"We're doing our due diligence to make sure we get all the facts to gather all the information to come up with the results of our investigation," Napier said.
Fallis is on paid leave as the investigation plays out. Bertucci's family believes he acted in error.
"It was a mistake by an officer who hasn't had experience in many, many years who came on a situation, overreacted, and it was an unnecessary killing," Tom Bertucci said.
Ashleigh Bertucci's funeral services are on Saturday.
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