Murder charge sent to grand jury, bond $560,000 for accused Mall shooter

Xavier Hardin/Fayette County Detention Center

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – A judge refuses to reduce bond for a 19-year-old accused of killing one man and spreading panic through a busy mall with a bold afternoon shooting.

During a brief preliminary hearing Tuesday morning, murder and first-degree assault charges against Xavier Hardin were bound over to the next Fayette County Grand Jury.

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The judge rejected a request to lower his $560,000 bond, citing the danger to the community and his potential flight risk, given the bond and the charges.

Hardin is charged with the Aug. 23 fatal shooting of Kenneth Bottoms during an argument investigators say happened near a Bath & Body Works on the south side of the mall.  Two innocent bystanders also were wounded, prompting first-degree assault charges.

He was arrested on the night of Aug. 24 outside an East Main Street business.

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.

Police have said 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.

The Mall shooting victim, Kenneth Wayne Bottoms, of Lexington, died at 6:10 p.m. at UK Medical Center where he’d been taken following the 4 p.m. shooting, according to Fayette County Coroner Gary Ginn.

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