Two people legally carrying involved in shooting in Louisville, KY


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WeThePeople
June 5, 2007, 10:06 PM
http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070605/ZONE03/706050422

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Reason for driver shooting unclear
Former officer says it was self-defense
By Jessie Halladay and James Wagner
The Courier-Journal


By Jessie Halladay and James Wagner
The Courier-Journal



One was a retired 20-year Jeffersontown police officer, the other a small-business owner who installs equipment for the elderly.

Both men were legally carrying semi-automatic handguns when their argument at a four-way stop erupted in gunfire Sunday afternoon outside a Kroger in Jeffersontown.

Now, 33-year-old Darren Pickerill, a Shawnee High School graduate, lies in critical condition in University Hospital's intensive care unit, with bullet wounds to his left arm, chest and head.

And 50-year-old Richard Koenig, the former officer who says he shot Pickerill in self-defense, is being investigated by the department he served for two decades. No charges have been filed.

"We're trying to give it due diligence," said Jeffersontown Police Chief Rick Sanders. "We've talked to a number of witnesses that were in the parking lot."

Sanders said he expects to meet with Commonwealth's Attorney Dave Stengel this week. Stengel's office would decide whether to take the case before a grand jury.

The shooting took place about 3:30 p.m. Sunday in the Kroger parking lot in the Stony Brook shopping center at Taylorsville Road and Hurstbourne Parkway.

The preliminary investigation indicates that Pickerill pulled up to a stop sign in a black Hummer H3; Koenig rolled up to the same intersection in a tan Jeep, Sanders said.

The men got into a brief argument, which Sanders said apparently centered around who had the right of way. Sanders said it appears that Pickerill pulled into the intersection in front of Koenig as he attempted to turn left and that is when the exchange occurred and the shooting took place.

Neither man had left his vehicle when Koenig fired six to eight times at Pickerill, with several rounds passing through Pickerill's Hummer and striking a nearby National City Bank branch, Sanders said.

"Officer Koenig stated that he saw a weapon and fired in self-defense," Sanders said.

Sanders said the whole incident took about a minute. Arriving emergency workers found Pickerill still in his car. Sanders did not comment on whether Pickerill's gun had been fired.

Roxann Marling, Pickerill's sister, said in an interview yesterday that she'd like to know what happened to prompt such violence.

"There's a lot of unanswered questions and we hope we can get honest answers for them," she said. "It's not worth being in this kind of shape over road rage."

She said her brother is not talking but is clearly in a lot of pain.

A Jefferson County court search turned up no criminal activity or traffic violations for either Pickerill or Koenig.

Koenig joined the Jeffersontown Police Department in 1986 after serving initially as an officer in Houston, Texas. Police did not release personnel records from Koenig's time on the department.

He could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Yesterday, shoppers near the Kroger said they were surprised the shooting took place in that area, which they consider safe. But most said it would not impact whether or not they would return there.

"It looks like two oddballs ran into each other," said Larry Curtis, who said he has lived in Jeffersontown for nine years.

Sanders said there were several people in the parking lot at the time of the shooting, and he appealed to any witnesses to report what they saw.

He said he was concerned about the danger to others in the area during the shooting, as rounds passed through the Hummer, eventually striking the nearby bank.

"Any time you have gunfire in a public place you have fear of danger," Sanders said.

Police have begun looking at surveillance tapes from businesses in the area, but Sanders said he didn't know if any of them captured the incident.

Reporter Jessie Halladay can be reached at (502) 582-4081.

Reporter James Wagner can be reached at jwagner@courier-journal.com.



And a follow-up article:

http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070605/ZONE03/70605027

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

UPDATED: 5:06 PM
Retired officer in shooting had disciplinary problems
By Jessie Halladay and Sara Cunningham
jhalladay@courier-journal.com
The Courier-Journal


By Jessie Halladay and Sara Cunningham
jhalladay@courier-journal.com
The Courier-Journal



A retired Jeffersontown Police officer who shot a man Sunday after an argument at a four-way stop had a history of disciplinary problems with the department and was facing a citizen complaint when he retired in February.

During his 20 years as a Jeffersontown police officer, Richard Koenig served at least three suspensions, had four chargeable traffic accidents, twice lost his take-home vehicle and received more than a dozen warnings in his file for violating department policies, according to his disciplinary file released yesterday.

His file also contained about 20 letters of commendation for actions he took during his career.

Jeffersontown Police plan to release the disciplinary record of retired Officer Richard Koenig tonight at 6 p.m.

Koenig, who retired from the police department in February, was involved in a shooting Sunday afternoon in the parking lot of a Kroger off Taylorsville Road and Hurstbourne Parkway.

Darren Pickerill, 33, is at University Hospital with gunshot wounds to his left arm, chest and head.

No charges have been filed in the case as Jeffersontown Police continue to investigate.

The Courier-Journal filed a request for Koenig’s personnel file, including his disciplinary history yesterday, but could not get the file until tonight, after it had been copied.

The shooting happened about 3:30 p.m. Sunday when Koenig and Pickerill came to a four-way stop in the Kroger parking lot at about the same time.

Jeffersontown Police Chief Rick Sanders said a verbal argument followed over who had the right of way, then gunfire erupted in the intersection, leaving Pickerill wounded.

Both men legally had .40-caliber semiautomatic handguns in their possession.
Neither got out of his vehicle, according to police. Sanders did not say whether Pickerill fired his weapon.

Pickerill’s family spoke out about the shooting today during a news conference at the office of community activist Christopher 2X.

“We are confused as to what happened and why a turn at a stop sign is worth shooting someone seven times,” said Roxanne Marling, Pickerill’s sister.

Marling said doctors have not been speaking with certainty about Pickerill’s condition. He cannot speak, open his eyes or move all of his limbs, she said.

Doctors have not determined how many times he was shot and no bullets have been removed because they are trying to keep him stable, Marling said.

There’s a chance that if Pickerill survives, he will face multiple surgeries and could never walk or talk again, Marling said.

She said the family just wants to know what happened.

“It’s easy to say it was self-defense but did it require him to unload into my brother?” Marling said. “He can’t tell us what happened to him so we have to try to figure it out for him.”

Reporter Jessie Halladay can be reached at (502) 582-4081.
Reporter Sara Cunningham can be reached at (502) 582-4335.

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HUMONGO
June 5, 2007, 11:09 PM
This is just the case that the antis have been waiting for. It sounds like the guy in the hummer showed his weapon trying to intimidate the ex-LEO. Just didn't figure he was carrying too.

I can only speculate as I wasn't there, but all in all, it's a pretty messed up situation.

jeepmor
June 6, 2007, 03:55 AM
Like any traffic oops is worth drawing a gun over.

mnrivrat
June 6, 2007, 04:14 AM
A clearly tragic event - I will withhold opinion until further information is forthcoming.

At this time who knows which showed their gun first ? Either way it would seem withdrawl from the scene may have been a better course of action since both were still in their vehicles . Just not enough information to make a good judgment or place blame.

gunsmith
June 6, 2007, 04:35 AM
“We are confused as to what happened and why a turn at a stop sign is worth shooting someone seven times,” said Roxanne Marling, Pickerill’s sister.
If someone is worth shooting once he is worth shooting 7.
It's not a turn at a stop sign that got him shot it was blocking the path of the other vehicle that led to the shooting, whether or not Koenig fired in self defense is the real question.
Did the injured driver display his weapon? Did he consider the other driver to be a serious threat?
I was once almost forced off the road by a road rager , I was packing but called 911 rather then display my gun.
Being that the injured driver blocked the path of the retired officer, I'm thinking Koenig is innocent.

The Amigo
June 6, 2007, 05:55 AM
Another fine example of dont take your weapon out untill you are ready to shoot.

Jim March
June 6, 2007, 06:06 AM
Oh God. Just what we didn't need.

Happened in Kentucky where, I believe, CCW is fairly new? We'll need to know how long CCW has been in place.

And...well, for political reasons...I hope to God it was the ex-cop in the wrong. I don't mean to piss anybody off with that comment and it's WAY too soon to know which it is. But we're better off if it was the cop.

XavierBreath
June 6, 2007, 06:27 AM
Way to soon to make a call here...........

Glockman17366
June 6, 2007, 06:55 AM
Even if the ex-cop saw a gun, he should have backed up to retreat, then reported the incident to active duty police. I doubt if it would have been too difficult to trace a black Hummer.
The other thing that wasn't reported, but should have been is rather the Hummer driver had his gun out.

Speculation, but I think the cop will be charged in this incident.

WeThePeople
June 6, 2007, 07:12 AM
Happened in Kentucky where, I believe, CCW is fairly new? We'll need to know how long CCW has been in place.

We have had a concealed carry law since 1996.

Unless I missed something in the article, we don't yet know if they had CCDW permits; only that they were carrying "legally." In Kentucky, anyone can carry a loaded firearm in their glove box. Open carry is also legal as stated in the Kentucky Constitution and as affirmed by the Court of Appeals in 1956 in Holland v. Commonwealth.

pacodelahoya
June 6, 2007, 07:17 AM
If Koening was blocked and Pickerell had a gun, then it sounds like a good shoot from the available info to me. Does Kentucky force it's citizens to try and run from danger like Pa does?? I wouldn't turn my back to a guy with a gun and I wouldn't convict Koening if I was on the jury if all the facts coincide with his story.

HUMONGO
June 6, 2007, 07:40 AM
Being that the injured driver blocked the path of the retired officer, I'm thinking Koenig is innocent.

Not innocent, just not legally culpable.

WeThePeople
June 6, 2007, 07:47 AM
Does Kentucky force it's citizens to try and run from danger like Pa does??

No. We have a 'no duty to retreat' law that went into effect in, I believe, 2006.

WeThePeople
June 6, 2007, 07:50 AM
By the way, this happened maybe 1/2 of a mile down the street from my office.

30 cal slob
June 6, 2007, 07:52 AM
dang.

was hoping that this would a "2 CCW good guys taking on several bad guys" kind of a story.

guess not.

p.s. i have heard you will get harassed in louisville if you OC, even if it is your right.

bakert
June 6, 2007, 07:55 AM
To me it sounds like a bit of road rage from two arrogant A--H---s that escalated way too far but from what's in the papers and on TV it's hard to tell what really happened. While most of KY is gun friendly, most of the news media is not at least in Louisville and Lexington. The Courier Journal really jumped on the fact both men were legally armed but you don't have to have a permit to legally carry a gun in your vehicle here. Another thing , most of the Courier's staff writers are about as gun friendly as Rosie O'Donnel. I look for rants from the antis over this incident before it's over. As We the People noted, concealed carry here is not exactly new.

30 Cal slob, you've got it right about open carry here, especially in the area where I live right outside of Louisville. A person carring openly in public will not be admitted into most places and may be stopped and at least questioned by the police too.

buzz_knox
June 6, 2007, 08:26 AM
"Officer Koenig stated that he saw a weapon and fired in self-defense," Sanders said.

Is it normal to refer to retired police as if they were still on duty?

romma
June 6, 2007, 08:56 AM
ouch! It will be interesting to see what other info comes to light. Really tragic.

crazed_ss
June 6, 2007, 09:25 AM
So did they find a weapon on the guy who got shot or what?

It sounds like the former officer forgot he was a FORMER officer. I've read many stories over the years where cops shoot because they thought or it looked like someone had a gun.

Sistema1927
June 6, 2007, 09:45 AM
Oh man, getting PO'ed because someone else wants the right of way is no reason for anyone to start shooting.

A little ditty that my dad used to recite went "He was right, dead right, as he sped along, but he's just as dead as if he was wrong." Who cares which car was first at the stop sign? Let the other guy go, and don't ruin your day.

Both guys were jerks, unfortunately both of them were armed.

WeThePeople
June 7, 2007, 11:43 AM
This is it boys. This is the one the antis screamed about in almost all of our states when concealed carry was passed. They said that gunfire would erupt over simple traffic disputes.

It may not be very high road of me to suggest it, but the next time someone says anything about shooting someone over something stupid, slap 'em for me. It's not funny. Not even a little bit.


Thursday, June 7, 2007

Shooter, girl clashed in J'town in 1999
Officer initially suspended for incident near center
By Jason Riley
and Sara CunninghamThe Courier-Journal


By Jason Riley
and Sara CunninghamThe Courier-Journal



Eight years before he shot a man during an argument at a four-way stop, then-Jeffersontown Police Officer Richard Koenig got in trouble near the same Stony Brook shopping center -- for wrongfully restraining and arresting a 16-year-old girl.

According to court records, Koenig was initially suspended for two weeks in 2000 after the Jeffersontown Civil Service Commission ruled he acted inappropriately when he arrested the girl, who was collecting money for a church choir trip.

The commission's report noted that witnesses saw "rage on (Koenig's) face" before he pushed the teen to the ground and handcuffed her after she walked away from him when he told her not to collect money in the street while the stoplight was green. Other witnesses said they saw the girl strike Koenig after he grabbed her.

One witness, Sandra Moreland, said Koenig grabbed the teen from behind, causing her to drop the bucket of money she was collecting, then threw her to the ground, telling her to "f------ shut up and keep her mouth shut and shut the f--- up." according to court records.

"I saw him come at her from out of nowhere and throw her to the ground and was cussing at her and her money flying everywhere," Moreland testified.

The case wasn't included in Koenig's disciplinary file, released Tuesday by Jeffersontown police, because the complaint and findings were removed as part of a settlement after Koenig sued Jeffersontown in civil court. The suspension was amended to six months of probation on the condition that Koenig commit no new offenses.

The Oct. 30, 1999, arrest of the teen occurred at Taylorsville Road and Hurstbourne Parkway, next to the Kroger parking lot where Koenig shot 33-year-old Darren Pickerill on Sunday. Pickerill was in critical condition yesterday at University Hospital.

Jefferson Commonwealth's Attorney Dave Stengel said yesterday that the only apparent witness who got a good look at Sunday's shooting was Koenig's wife, who was in the vehicle with him.

"It's one side of a story," Stengel said.

Stengel said Koenig wasn't arrested at the scene because there were no witnesses or evidence at the time that contradicted his claim of self-defense.

Stengel said he has been told he will get a preliminary report of the investigation this week. He also said he is treating the case as a police shooting, meaning he will handle it himself.

Jeffersontown Chief Rick Sanders said Koenig told officials he saw a gun when he fired six to eight shots at Pickerill, hitting him in the left arm, chest and head. Both men had .40-caliber semi-automatic handguns in their cars and had concealed-carry permits.

Neither police nor prosecutors would say where Pickerill's gun was found, nor have they said whether Pickerill's gun was fired.

After meeting with Pickerill's family yesterday, Sanders said he has asked two local experts to help investigate the case, though he would not name them.

Fred Marling, Pickerill's brother-in-law, indicated yesterday that relatives were satisfied with Sanders' actions.

"We're confident he's going to conduct this investigation with the best of class," Marling said. "We're comfortable with his answers."

Koenig and his family have declined to comment. So far, at least eight witnesses have come forward to speak with police about what they saw and heard, Sanders said, although none of them saw the actual shooting.

Jeffersontown police are also reviewing videotapes taken by shopping center surveillance cameras, he said.

During Koenig's 20 years on the Jeffersontown force, he served at least three suspensions, had four chargeable traffic accidents, twice lost his take-home vehicle and received more than a dozen warnings for violating department policies, according to his disciplinary file.

His file also contained about 20 letters of commendation for actions he took.

He was facing a citizen complaint when he resigned from the Jeffersontown force in March, accused by a woman of running a stop sign in front of the Stonybrook Cinema de Lux and nearly hitting her daughter.

It was near the same location where he was disciplined for his 1999 arrest of the teen-age girl.

Koenig was working off duty at the Stonybrook Cinemas parking lot and had left to get supper when he saw the teens collecting money on Hurstbourne Parkway for the Metropolitan Gospel Music Connection Gospel Choir, according to court records.

The group had a permit to collect donations, but Koenig told them to move out of the lanes when there was a green light. When he returned from eating, Koenig noticed the 16-year-old DuPont Manual student in the walkway soliciting money while the light was green.

The teen testified in a civil deposition that Koenig called her to his cruiser and told her to get out of the street. When she headed toward the median, Koenig grabbed her arm, which she tried to yank away. Koenig then told the teen she was under arrest and threw her down, gouging his "knee into my neck," said the teen, who denied hitting Koenig.

But Koenig testified in a deposition that, after telling the teen to stay out of the road, she cursed him and began to walk away. Koenig said he then got out of his cruiser "hurriedly," intending to escort her out of the traffic lane.

But Koenig said she broke free and hit him across the chest with the back of her hand.

The officer then wrestled the teen to the ground as she "kept struggling and kicking," Koenig testified.

He acknowledged that he didn't tell the teen what she was being arrested for. She was charged with assault, resisting arrest, obstructing a highway and disorderly conduct.

Because she was a juvenile, it is unclear what happened to those charges. She couldn't be reached for comment yesterday.

Reporter Jason Riley can be reached at (502) 582-4727.

Reporter Sara Cunningham can be reached at (502) 582-4335.

vis-à-vis
June 7, 2007, 01:32 PM
I am impressed with the sister of the man shot. She kept it collected and rational calling for truth to be sought for whilst not laying blame on either yet. It usually not that way. I wonder how this will pan out.

delta53
June 7, 2007, 01:39 PM
The shooter will not be getting any free lawyers from the police dept as he would have before he retired

HUMONGO
June 7, 2007, 01:48 PM
Sounds like a classy fella'. Glad he never worked as a cop in my town. I have nothing aginst cops, I like cops. I just hate the ones who feel they're above the law.

That aside, it may be a clean shoot, don't know, wasn't there.

Clipper
June 7, 2007, 02:46 PM
The thing that disgusts me is that with his discilpine record, a civilian would not have been issued a permit to carry in the first place, but ex-LEO gets a pass...Just because he once had a badge (and it sounds as if that badge was in severe jeopardy when he 'resigned'), doesn't mean he's fit to go amongst us armed.

WeThePeople
June 7, 2007, 03:06 PM
.

Art Eatman
June 7, 2007, 03:22 PM
Save the bashing. It's pointless.

Since it's still mostly he-said, they-thought, I'm-not-sure, we're best off waiting until the conclusions from the investigation are made public and charges (if any) are filed.

How about somebody monitor the situation, and then re-start the thread? We don't need endless speculation.

Art

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