Crime

State police: It’s still in question whether man shot himself or was shot by Lexington officer

Lexington police chief describes shooting of 23-year-old man by officer

A Lexington police officer has been involved in a shooting that sent a man to the hospital Wednesday night. Police Chief Lawrence Weathers provided details of the shooting at a news conference.
Up Next
A Lexington police officer has been involved in a shooting that sent a man to the hospital Wednesday night. Police Chief Lawrence Weathers provided details of the shooting at a news conference.

Whether a Lexington officer shot a fleeing suspect or the suspect shot himself is still in question, according to Kentucky State Police.

A court affidavit from a federal agent said the man, Marcellis Means, 23, shot himself in the thigh while trying to pull a gun.

But Kentucky State Police Trooper Bernis Napier said Friday afternoon that he could not confirm the agent’s account. When asked whether Officer Ichiro Vance might have shot Means, Napier said, “There was talk that that could be a possibility.”

“It’s still part of the open investigation,” he said.

The Kentucky State Police Critical Incident Response Team is investigating the case.

Napier said state police are still interviewing people who were in the area and reviewing video footage. He said investigators would not release information about who shot Means “until they know 100 percent for sure.”

Vance has worked for the police department since 2016.

Lexington Police Chief Lawrence Weathers said Wednesday night that the officer was responding to a report of a burglary on Patchen Drive off Richmond Road at about 7 p.m. when he tried to make a traffic stop on a car occupied by a male driver, later identified as Means, and a female passenger.

State police said Means jumped out of the car and ran as Vance approached the car.

There was “a brief foot pursuit and shots were fired,” according to state police.

They said the gun Means is thought to have been in possession of was recovered from the scene.

A federal affidavit by a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives says that Means tried to pull a firearm from the waistband of his pants while he ran from a Lexington officer, identified in the federal court documents as Vance. According to the federal court complaint, Means shot himself in the leg while trying to withdraw the gun from the waistband.

The court document says officer Vance “discharged his firearm in defense of himself, but it is believed that all rounds fired by (Officer) Vance missed” Means. Means then “completed drawing the firearm from his waistband and discarded the firearm” while running from the officer.

Vance has been placed on administrative assignment while the investigation continues.

Means has been released from the hospital and is being held in the Fayette County Detention Center on a federal charge of being a felon in possession of a handgun.

State police said Friday that the passenger in the car with Means, Lea L. Williams, 18, of Nicholasville, has been charged by Lexington police with second-degree disorderly conduct, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana and tampering with physical evidence.

Karla Ward is a native of Logan County who has worked as a reporter at the Herald-Leader for 18 years. She covers breaking news.
  Comments