FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) - Some preliminary information has been released on the investigation into the death of a man in west Louisville after shots were fired at police and Kentucky National Guardsmen early Monday morning.
The man killed was David McAtee, the owner of Yaya's BBQ Shack restaurant. He was found near the scene of the shooting, which was where police and the Guard were trying to break up a gathering that was in violation of the 9 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. curfew imposed through June 8 by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.
Gov. Andy Beshear announced that the Secretary of his Cabinet, J. Michael Brown, is serving as the Administration’s liaison to the Kentucky State Police, who are conducting the investigation into the shooting.
Brown gave reporters the first official details of the shooting.
“First results of the autopsy seem to indicate that Mr. McAtee succumbed to a single gunshot wound to the chest, but testing of bullet fragments will have to be conducted at the Kentucky State Police Crime Lab to see if we can determine which type of bullet he was struck by.”
Brown says 13 people who were at a residence there have been interviewed. “Many of them had gunshot residue samples taken, but none of the results are back. At that residence, we recovered a total of seven weapons, six handguns and one shotgun. All will be undergoing certain types of tests including tracing by ATF and DNA testing.
“We are going to look and see which, if any of them, have been discharged. We believe at least one of them has been discharged, and we are going to see if any of them match up with any of the shell casings that were found in the vicinity.”
Search warrants were obtained, Brown said, “Those search warrants yielded, in part, video from both external cameras and internal cameras at that location.”
He said they will be examining the video frame-by-frame “to get a better idea of the exact sequence of events. And we hope to go through a very laborious practice of trying to match up those videos with any other video, either by civilians or security cameras, along with any audio that may have been captured, say on police radios, to try and get a true chronology of what occurred.”
Brown says the Louisville Metro Police Department and Guard weapons have been inventoried “and it is our belief at this time that approximately 18 shots were fired between the National Guard and Louisville Metro Police.”
The police and Guard weapons will also undergo testing.
Brown says he has had a conversation with Russell Coleman, the U. S. Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky, “who indicated that the FBI, alongside the KSP, will be participating in conducting an investigation.”
“Our goal,” Brown said, “is to get all the facts, get them quickly, and be able to present as much as possible a clear determination of what happened shortly after midnight on June 1. We will be giving updates as appropriate.”
Beshear also said the Kentucky National Guard presence in Louisville is being reduced. “That was a recommendation by our Adjutant General that we will be following.”
The governor also gave an update on cases of the coronavirus in Kentucky, saying 155 new cases were reported to state public health officials on Tuesday, making the total 10,185. There were also three deaths, bringing to 442 the number of Kentuckians who have lost their lives during the pandemic. The three victims were from Clay, Jefferson and Muhlenburg counties.
Beshear also noted there was a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said the restrictions mostly that have been put into place due to the pandemic are legal.
“This was out of California and we believe it is a ruling that will ultimately result in a favorable ruling, in each of the challenges to the restrictions that we have had to put into place for COVID-19,” Beshear said.
He explained, “It basically says that during these times, the executive branch has to have latitude to address a worldwide health pandemic and that unelected judges shouldn’t be second-guessing it. We submitted that to the federal courts that have our cases.”