Shooting victim dies; city's 10th homicide in 2014

jmadden@herald-leader.comJuly 1, 2014 

  • Recent shootings in Lexington

    June 21A 17-year-old girl was shot in the neck about 1:30 a.m. Saturday by a man who then stole the car in which she and a 16-year-old friend were riding. Police said the man, wearing a dark shirt with a bandanna around his neck, fired two shots into the car and ordered the girls to get out. He drove away in the car, which was found wrecked and abandoned at Parkers Mill and Bowman Mill roads.

    June 21 — Also about 1:30 a.m. Saturday, Jonathan Thomas Price was fatally shot in the back and his wife, Megan Price, was shot in the leg in the parking lot at Woodhill Shopping Center.

    June 22 — About 12:55 a.m. Sunday, police found Charles Wright, 32, in the street at 154 East Sixth Street with multiple gunshot wounds. He died about 1:20 a.m. at University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital. Police said witnesses reported seeing a man with shoulder-length dreadlocks and a white T-shirt leaving the area in a silver car.

    June 22 — About 2:30 a.m. Sunday, police found a man with a gunshot wound to the chest at Sixth Street and Shropshire Avenue. The victim, who was not identified, went to the hospital with an injury that did not appear to be life-threatening, police said. Roberts said the victim told officers he'd been shot by a man with dreadlocks.

    June 30 — About 11:00 a.m., Monday a man was seen on surveillance tape shooting at another man at Shopper's Choice Market at Georgetown Street and Glen Arvin Avenue. The man was taken to University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Police began an investigation 15 minutes later, but the man who had been shot refused to cooperate with police.

    June 30 — Hours later, four women were shot at a house at 457 Scottsdale Circle. One of the women, identified as Kierra Green, 18, of Nicholasville, died Tuesday afternoon at University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital.

    July 1 — Police were called to the 1900 block of Cambridge Drive about 10:30 a.m. after a man was shot in the back. The wounded man was taken to University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Police believe Daniel Martinez, 40, shot the other man when the two were running in the street.

Kieara Green had graduated from The Providence School in Wilmore on June 5.

The 18-year-old was working at a McDonald's in Nicholasville. Eager to live on her own, Green had moved from her home in Nicholasville to Lexington.

Family friend Anna Kenion described Green as a sweet and quiet young woman. "She wouldn't bother you, unless you bothered her," Kenion told the Herald-Leader. "It all seems so surreal."

Green, who was among four women injured in a shooting Monday, died Tuesday. She was shot at a house at 457 Scottsdale Circle at 10:39 p.m. Three other women were shot and taken to University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital. Their conditions were not available Tuesday night.

Green is the third person to die from gunfire in the past two weeks. She is the city's 10th homicide case in 2014, and the lack of an arrest means there are five open investigations.

In most years, the city has between 14 and 19 murders, and the homicide unit has a 90 percent clearance rate.

But Green's case is one of several recent shootings for which there have been no arrests. Police have beefed up patrols and added officers to the homicide unit to crack some of the open cases from two weeks ago. But officers had to deal with two shootings Monday.

Earlier Monday, a man was shot in the chin and buttocks on Georgetown Street. Green's shooting happened almost 12 hours later.

Then, on Tuesday, the department's Emergency Response Unit was called out to Cambridge Drive after a shooting in the 1900 block. Lexington police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said two men were running on Cambridge Drive about 10:30 a.m. when one of the men shot the other in the back. The wounded man was taken to the University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital with injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening.

Police have identified Daniel Martinez, 40, as the shooter. Moments after the shooting, police quickly surrounded a nearby house where they thought he might be hiding, but two hours later, officers entered the residence and no one was inside.

Martinez had not been arrested as of Tuesday evening.

Roberts said it remained unclear what sparked the shooting.

"The fact that in the middle of the day, someone chased another individual down the street, fired shots when there were children and other people at home, that's pretty brazen and is a point of concern," Roberts said. "At this point we are continuing to search for the suspect in this situation."

Meanwhile, Roberts said there was no new information in Green's shooting.

"At this point, we don't have any real reliable suspect information, or vehicle information," she said. "That's where we need the help of the public."

Police also are seeking help from the public in identifying and solving the shooting earlier Monday.

Roberts said police — for the first time in recent memory — were releasing surveillance video from a shooting. Police released a video that showed the shooting on Georgetown Street. Three men appeared to be involved in a confrontation, and then one of the men pulled out a gun and fired.

The victim in the Georgetown Street shooting has not been cooperating with police, making it more difficult for police to identify the shooters.

That — and vague descriptions — have created high hurdles to clear in several of the shooting cases.

The shootings have required the department's robbery/homicide unit to work around the clock.

"We're investigating each individual case as its own, and hopefully we'll get to the bottom of each one of them," Lt. Brian Maynard said. "We've been very busy ... day and night a number of officers are working these cases. We have to work and analyze each case separately. ... Some leads come quick, some leads don't. But the public's help provides us with those tips. We're not going to do it alone."

Roberts echoed Maynard's comments. She said Green's case, for example, had a lot of conflicting stories.

Police were dispatched to Scottsdale Circle after a woman said she had picked up a woman who had been shot.

All of the women who were shot knew each other, Roberts said. But it is not clear to investigators why the shooting occurred.

"It does seem to be a situation where a lot of the details are unclear at this point, and we're going to have to keep working to piece those things together," she said.

Kenion said Green's family doesn't know what happened and they, too, have heard several different stories. Kenion thinks Green might have been "at the wrong place, at the wrong time."

The family has been trying to hold it together.

On Tuesday afternoon, Kenion said Dana Walker, Green's mother, set the tone in the hospital room before Green was taken off life support.

Kenion said Walker knew her daughter was gone. She whispered in her ear, "Baby, you're going to a better place. Momma will be OK," Kenion recalled.

Justin Madden: (859) 231-3197. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety

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