Suspect with attention getting mug shot speaks out

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)- A teenager accused of driving around Lexington while firing a gun made his first court appearance Tuesday.

On Memorial Day, we are used to hearing honorary shots, but police say the shots that broke the glass at Speedway Monday afternoon were of a different kind. Police say 19-year-old Layne Chadwell fired shots at the Speedway on Paris Pike, nearly hitting an employee.

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Then, according to police, Chadwell drove away firing gunshots into the air, eventually firing again at a Thornton’s on North Broadway near an officer who found Chadwell trying to hide in his car, but it’s Chadwell’s silly mug shot that is getting more attention from people than the serious allegation.

Chadwell agreed to let ABC 36’s Veronica Jean Seltzer interview him in jail Tuesday.

“It’s a way to get my story out there,” Chadwell said.

His story, he says, is one of frustration. He says he was drunk and did not know how to handle himself when his girlfriend would not let him take his son, Layne Jr. home.

“I just wanted to see my son. That’s all it was,” Chadwell said.

“How old is your son?” VJ asked.

“A month old, so this is precious time for me that I’m losing,” Chadwell said.

As for his mug shot, Chadwell says he took it while he was still drunk.

“It was just one way for me to be different,” Chadwell said.

He laughed as talked about it, but the shootings Chadwell admits to could have been deadly. When VJ pressed him, Chadwell said he did not shoot at anyone in particular. He thinks the claim he almost hit a Speedway employee is bogus.

“If I didn’t have value for human life, I would’ve shot at the person that was right beside me,” Chadwell said.

Police say Chadwell showed extreme indifference to the value of human life, but Chadwell says he is in jail because he valued one life in particular, his son’s.

“I just want to get back home to my son. That’s all it is. That’s all it was,” Chadwell said with tears in his eyes.

He says if he could tell his son anything, it would be to think about things a lot harder than his father did.

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Veronica Jean Seltzer joins ABC 36 as Anchor/Reporter. On most weekdays, you will see her reporting the news. VJ hails from a small horse farm outside New York City and most recently comes from South Bend, Indiana where she reported for the CBS and Fox affiliates. VJ holds a Master of Science in Journalism degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University. Her passion for journalism runs deep. It began as she studied graffiti as an ancient form of communication in Athens, Greece. While a student journalist in Morocco, she learned her most important journalistic lesson: good stories are about people. VJ loves life in and around Lexington. She feels most at home among horses and a diverse community of fascinating people. She enjoys reporting during the week and on the weekend she strives to bring her neighbors the news that matters most to them. VJ enjoys going to neighborhood events, exploring, horseback riding, skiing, sailing, and good movies. Look for her out and about in the community! VJ invites you to reach out to her with story ideas or just to say hello! Find her on Facebook at Veronica Jean Seltzer ABC 36, tweet her @VJS_ABC36, or email her at VSeltzer@wtvq.com. She looks forward to hearing from you!