Madison County

State police investigate fatal shooting by Richmond police officer

State police are investigating a fatal shooting by a police officer after a robbery attempt at a Richmond restaurant Saturday night.

A Richmond police officer shot Michael McMullen, 39, of Lexington, after McMullen pointed a handgun at the officer inside the Kentucky Fried Chicken on the Eastern Bypass, police said in a news release.

McMullen was a convicted felon. He worked as an upholsterer for the state Finance and Administration Cabinet. McMullen died about 6 a.m. Sunday at University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center.

The Richmond police department on Monday asked state police to investigate the shooting, state Trooper Chris Lanham said. The Richmond officer involved in the shooting, who has not been named, was placed on administrative duty pending the results of the investigation.

The officer has been with the Richmond police department for 51/2 years, the release said.

Richmond Police Chief Larry Brock said he didn't think the investigation would take long.

"It's fairly clear-cut what happened. There's not a lot of dispute about what went on" because employees saw what happened, Brock said.

According to the release, KFC employees were cleaning up after the restaurant had closed when a man wearing a Halloween mask and carrying a 9mm pistol barged in. Two employees locked themselves in an office and called 911, and three officers responded.

McMullen apparently got into the closed restaurant by waiting for an employee to take out the trash, then pointed the gun at him and forcing him back inside, the release said. McMullen demanded money, but another employee told him the cash registers had been emptied, Brock said.

McMullen got angry, forced both employees to the floor and said he was going to shoot them, police said.

The officer looked through the back door, saw McMullen pointing the gun at the two prone employees and confronted McMullen.

McMullen retreated to the dining area, and the officer followed; the officer repeatedly ordered McMullen to drop the weapon, but McMullen refused, the release said.

McMullen pointed the gun at the officer, and the officer fired one shot.

McMullen was wearing a bulletproof vest, but the officer's bullet missed the vest and hit McMullen near his left shoulder. Officers immediately called emergency-medical workers.

McMullen had worked for the state Finance and Administration Cabinet since February 2009 as an upholsterer, state personnel cabinet spokeswoman Crystal Pryor said in an e-mail.

An upholsterer "disassembles various items to be upholstered such as chairs, couches, vehicle seats and tops," according to the position's job description.

According to court records, McMullen was convicted of three counts of first-degree robbery filed in 1992 in Fayette County. In 2000, he was convicted in Jessamine County of second-degree robbery, theft by unlawful taking and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

McMullen was on probation after pleading guilty in 2008 to felony flagrant non-support in Fayette County. A charge of being a persistent felony offender was dismissed.

Richmond police are coordinating with departments in surrounding areas, including Lexington, to see whether McMullen can be tied to any unsolved robberies, the release said.