UPDATE: Police Chief offers insight into Mall shooting response

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UPDATE 2:30 p.m. EDT, Tuesday, Aug. 25

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – At a press briefing Tuesday afternoon Lexington Police Chief Lawrence Weathers provided more insight to police response to Sunday’s Fayette Mall shooting.

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He says it was a team effort from Lexington Police officers as well as Fire Department, the sheriff’s office and federal agencies. An effort he expressed gratitude for several times.

“This is not the department that you may see in blasted on social media. I’ve been told that we’re just like every other department. And that is not true. Our officers are unique. Our officers care,” Weathers said.

Around when the shooting happened, 4 p.m. Sunday, Lexington’s 911 dispatch took about 200 calls.

160 Lexington Police officers, including off-duty officers, responded and 34 Fire and EMS vehicles were there to assist, Chief Weathers said.

Also at the press briefing was Lexington Police Sergeant Stacy Shannon.

A Facebook post from a friend of hers, Steve Newell, showing her responding in her civilian clothes with a borrowed police vest has gone viral.

Sgt. Shannon says she knew he was making the post but was overwhelmed and not comfortable with it because she was doing what many of her fellow officers would have done.

“You know that there is something going on, you see people that are wearing the same uniform as you. And then you see other people in your community. You know, you see kids and adults, all ages, all sizes. They’re running out in chaos and you have to, really know a lot going through, just trying to get there and do what I can do out here to help,” Sgt. Shannon said.

UPDATE:  9:32 p.m. EDT, Monday, Aug. 24

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – A teenager accused of killing another teen and wounding two innocent bystanders in a shooting Sunday afternoon inside Fayette Mall in Lexington was arrested Monday night, according to Lexington Police.

Investigators charged 19-year old Xavier Hardin with murder and two counts of assault 1st degree.  He was taken to jail in Lexington.

No other arrest details were released.

Xavier Hardin

UPDATE 11:50 a.m., MONDAY, Aug. 24

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Two 18-year-olds described as “associated with” the victim have

Cion Townsend/Fayette County Detention Center
Nasir Lyons/Fayette County Detention Center

been charged with evidence tampering in the deadly Sunday afternoon shooting at Fayette Mall.

And while police haven’t linked Sunday’s shooting with one Aug. 16 that killed 18-year-old former Tates Creek High basketball player Mykel Waide, at least the two cases do have some links.

According to police, the two charged in connection with Sunday’s Mall shooting are Nasir Lyons and Cion Townsend. They were at the mall at the time of shooting.

Lyons’ arrest citation from Lexington Police says he was seen removing items from the shooting victim’s body and running from the scene in the mall.

The Lexington Police arrest citation for Townsend says he was with the victim at the mall and took the victim’s two cell phones after the shooting and ran.

The Fayette County Coroner’s Office has identified the victim as 17-year-old Kenneth Bottoms Jr. of Lexington. The two other victims, a 41-year-old man and a 17-year-old girl, suffered non-life threatening injuries.

At this time it appears the shooting was an isolated incident stemming from a verbal altercation between the shooter, Bottoms, and other individuals. The incident involved a single suspect who fired shots at Bottoms and then fled the scene. The two other victims are believed to be uninvolved bystanders, police said.

Townsend and Mykel Waide, who died from wounds suffered in a shooting near a Newtown Pike convenience store parking lot , played basketball together at Tates Creek, where Townsend was a star.

In a tweet Aug. 17 on his Twitter account following Waide’s death, Townsend tweeted, “I promise I won’t let nobody get away with this kel I swear to god !!” referring to Waide by the nickname his friends called him.

update: 8:15 a.m. MONDAY, Aug. 24, 2020

LEXINGTO, Ky. (WTVQ) – A 17-year-old died from gunshot wounds suffered during the

Kenneth Wayne Bottoms/Facebook

shooting Sunday afternoon at Fayette Mall.

Fayette County Coroner Gary Ginn identified the victim as Kenneth Wayne Bottoms, of Lexington. He died at 6:10 p.m. at UK Medical Center where he’d been taken following the shooting, Ginn said.

He became the third teenager killed in gun violence in a week. A fourth died later Sunday night (see related story).

A autopsy will be performed at the state medical examiner’s office in Frankfort.

O.L. Hughes and Son Mortuary will be in charge of arrangements.

Friends tell WTVQ Bottoms used the street name Sinaloa Kartel on social media.

Update:  Sunday, August 23, 2020 at 10:37 p.m.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – One of three people shot inside Fayette Mall in Lexington on Sunday afternoon has died, according to Lexington Police.

The victim’s name hasn’t been released yet by the Fayette County coroner.  Police do say the victim is a man.

Original story below:

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – At least three people were shot inside Fayette Mall around 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, according to Lexington Police.  Their names and conditions were not immediately known.

Police say it was not an active shooter situation and not random.  Investigators say there was a Lexington Police officer inside the mall at the time of the shooting, allowing police to react quickly.

There was a heavy police and fire presence at the scene, including the police department’s helicopter, K-9 unit and Emergency Response Unit (ERU) often referred to as a SWAT team in other departments.

Lexington Police Chief Lawrence Weathers says from the initial information that was gathered, the people involved in the shooting knew each other or were at least familiar with each other.

Chief Weathers says the “intended target” of the shooting may have known the suspect.

Police say the mall was placed on lockdown with patrons and employees being evacuated when deemed safe as officers went store-to-store securing the area and looking for the suspect(s).

Mall patrons and employees who were evacuated were sheltered on LexTran buses.  Police say parents with teenagers who were inside the mall at the time of the shooting could park in front of the Olive Garden on Nicholasville Road to pick them up.

Nicholasville Road was temporarily closed between West Reynolds Road and Wilson Downing Road.  The road reopened just after 8:00 p.m.

 

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.