Shooting of homeless man by LMPD officers was 'justified' top prosecutor finds (WARNING: GRAPHIC)

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LOUISVILLE, Ky., (WDRB) – An investigation by Jefferson Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Wine's office found that a man fatally shot by Louisville Metro Police officers in a house near Churchill Downs in February 2017, charged at one of the officers, stabbed at him with a metal rod or skewer and ignored opportunities to surrender.

As a result, the officers were "justified in using deadly physical force" and will not face criminal charges in the shooting death of William Young, Wine wrote in a letter to the department on Jan. 9. The Courier-Journal first revealed the decision in a story Friday. 

The investigation, which included reviewing body cam footage, found Young had been “given ample opportunity to surrender himself to the officers or at least announce his presence.”

Instead, Young said nothing as police searched the home and then lunged at Officer Russell Braun, who suffered a puncture wound, before Young was shot by officers, according to Wine's letter summarizing the investigation. 

All three officers, Braun, Randall Richardson and Paige Young, fired shots.

“William Young not only ignored the commands of the officers to reveal himself, but he was inside the vacant property without permission of the owner as evidenced by the lower windows and doors being locked or boarded shut" and then attacked an officer, according to Wine’s letter.

The officers are back on duty but police are conducting an internal investigation.

Young’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit, claiming the mentally ill, homeless Louisville man was  was sleeping in an abandoned home on Oleanda Avenue when “three-out-of-control” officers shot Young about a dozen times with "minimal or no provocation."

The suit also accuses the "ill-trained" officers of trying to “conceal their misconduct” by giving misleading information about the shooting, “with full knowledge that Young was no longer available to contradict them."

The officers shot the 31-year-old within seconds of encountering him, despite being familiar with him and knowing he wasn’t a threat, the suit claims.

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