FRANKFORT (KT) — The investigation into the fatal shooting of a Louisville man, after someone reportedly opened fire on Louisville Police and Kentucky National Guardsmen, has determined a bullet from a Guardsman’s weapon caused the fatal wound.
During Gov. Andy Beshear’s Tuesday press briefing on the coronavirus, Secretary of the Cabinet J. Michael Brown, who has served as the liaison to the Kentucky State Police investigation into the incident, gave more details on preliminary findings, thus far.
Shots were fired at LMPD officers and the Guardsmen shortly after midnight on June 1. The officers and two Guardsmen returned fire.
David McAtee, the owner of Yaya's BBQ Shack restaurant, was dead at the scene, 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 that had been imposed by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.
Brown showed photos of the type of ammunition used by Kentucky National Guard in their M4 carbines, which showed the tips are painted green, as well as photos of four bullet fragments taken from McAtee’s body, one of which had green paint.
“Our crime lab analyzed the paint against the paint that was in the magazines from the National Guard weapons at the scene,” Brown said. “The material that this bullet was made out of is consistent with those rounds.”
Brown said due to the condition of the fragments, the crime lab could not match up them up with a particular rifle. “They could only match it up that it was that particular caliber and type of ammunition. But we know that night those rounds were only fired by one agency, and that was the Kentucky National Guard.”
He added, “It is our conclusion that Mr. McAtee’s fatal wound came from one of the M4A1 carbines carried by the National Guard. But we cannot identify which carbine, and we cannot identify which Guardsmen, fired the shot.”
Brown noted the LMPD officers used other types of weapons, and that 18 or 19 shots were fired by members of the two agencies, nine or 10 by the Guard and nine more by the LMPD.
As for McAtee’s possible role in the incident, Brown said, “Our crime lab has determined that two shell casings found outside the door of the restaurant had been fired from the weapon that was lying on the floor, which we have confidence was the weapon David McAtee had in his possession the night of the shooting.”
He also reported McAtee was tested for gunshot residue and reports came back positive. They believe McAtee fired one shot, paused for eight seconds, then fired a second.
The FBI and Kentucky State Police are continuing the investigation and Brown said the FBI is working on synching up all audio and video available from that night to help determine what happened.
The report on the coronavirus indicated there were 245 new cases reported to state health officials on Tuesday, for a total of 11,708.
There were also five more deaths reported, making it 477 during the pandemic. The victims were from Barren, Jefferson, McCracken, Shelby and Warren counties.
On a positive note, 3,365 people have been reported as completely recovered from the coronavirus.