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.
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.
UPDATE 11:50 a.m., MONDAY, Aug. 24
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Two 18-year-olds described as “associated with” the victim have
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
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.