Search Warrant: Accused killer had directions to victim’s home, family’s sleep schedules
Shannon Gilday is accused of murder in the shooting death of Jordan Morgan
UPDATE (3-3-22) – Troubling new details emerged in the ongoing investigation into a deadly home invasion in Madison County that left a former state lawmaker’s daughter dead and her father wounded.
According to a report in the Lexington Herald-Leader, which obtained a copy of the search warrant for suspect Shannon Gilday’s apartment in northern Kentucky, Gilday had written notes about finding a bunker and recorded features of the victim’s home prior to the deadly break-in.
The multi-million dollar home of C. Wesley Morgan on Willis Branch Road had been listed on the real estate market, which included a fully-stocked underground bunker. Gilday’s mother says her son had been distraught with the certainty a nuclear war is imminent and spoke of building a bunker felt the CIA was following him.
Citing the search warrant, the newspaper reports a friend of Gilday contacted Kentucky State Police after finding documents that connected Gilday to the scene of the crime. The report says that included directions to the Morgan home, notes about Gilday’s search for a bunker and the Morgan family’s sleep schedules. The report says Gilday wrote down details about the Morgan home, such as the layout, cameras and potential access points.
The report says investigators removed a number of items from Gilday’s apartment during the execution of the search warrant, including documents; a shotgun and shells; ammunition containers; two laptops, a Kindle and six cell phones, photo identification badges; and goggles.
The report says Gilday’s friend told investigators Gilday had a history of psychotic problems and had recently been dishonorably discharged from the U.S. Army.
Investigators say in the early morning hours of Feb. 22, 2022, Gilday, armed with an AR style rifle, shot his way into the Morgan home on the second floor and shot and killed Jordan Morgan while she slept. She was Wesley Morgan’s adult daughter, who was a lawyer in Lexington. Investigators say Gilday then made his way to the master bedroom and shot his way into that room, exchanging gunfire with Wesley Morgan, who was wounded. Investigators say Morgan’s wife and teenage daughter were in the master bedroom at the time of the shootout, they were not hurt.
Gilday was spotted by a Madison County Sheriff’s deputy six days later in the wee hours of the morning walking along a road not far from the Morgan home. He was arrested without incident. Kentucky State Police say Gilday was charged with murder, assault, attempted murder and other offenses. He pleaded not guilty to all charges at his initial court appearance in Madison District Court. He is due back in court March 9, 2022, according to court records. He remains in jail in Richmond.
UPDATE (2/28/22 3:30 P.M.) – Shannon Gilday, the man accused in the shooting death of Jordan Morgan, has been booked into jail.
According to the Madison County Detention Center, Gilday was booked around 2:30 Monday afternoon.
UPDATE (2/28/22 9:20 A.M.) – Kentucky State Police said in a press release Shannon Gilday, 23, was located Monday morning in Richmond.
The Madison County Sheriff’s Office saw Gilday walking along Barnes Mill Rd around 4:30 A.M. and KSP says he was taken into custody without any issues.
According to KSP, Gilday is charged with murder, burglary 1st degree, criminal mischief 1st degree, assault 1st degree, and two counts of attempted murder.
The investigation is still ongoing by Kentucky State Police Post 7.
UPDATE (2/25/22 10:45 P.M.) – The vigil for Jordan Morgan scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 27 has been pushed back to 9 p.m. According to vigil organizers, the time has been changed so it doesn’t overlap with the visitation so Jordan’s family can attend.
Loved ones will gather at at the Richmond courthouse at 101 W Main Street. The community is invited to attend.
UPDATE (2/25/22) – New details in a deadly shooting investigation in Madison County earlier this week. A statement made by the suspect’s mother could give a possible motive for the shooting.
According to Kentucky State Police, 32-year-old Jordan Morgan was killed early Tuesday morning, shot in her bed, during a home invasion at her parent’s house on Willis Branch Road.
After a tip and reviewing surveillance footage, KSP named 23-year-old Shannon Gilday as the person accused of breaking into that home and killing Morgan. Thursday, KSP said there was no known connection between Morgan and Gilday.
Friday, Gilday’s mother shared a statement on social media that hinted at a possible motive.
In the statement, Katie Gilday said she was saddened for the pain and suffering, “it is believed by the police that my son has caused them and especially for the loss of their daughter Jordan. It is a terrible tragedy.” Katie went on to say her son, “has not been of sound mind the last couple of weeks, distraught with the certainty a nuclear war is imminent. He spoke of building a bunker and the CIA following him.”
An online listing confirms the Morgan home did have a bunker in the basement.
According to Katie, she also pleaded with her son to turn himself in so he can get the help he needs.
Friday, Sgt. Robert Purdy with KSP told WCPO, it is possible the Morgan’s were targeted because of their bunker but every possible motive was still being considered.
KSP still asking people to be vigilant. If you see him, do not approach him as he is considered armed and dangerous. Contact KSP immediately at (859) 623-2404.
UPDATE POSTED 10:00 P.M. FEBRUARY 24, 2022
RICHMOND, Ky. (WTVQ) – As the investigation surrounding Jordan Morgan’s death continues, a family friend is remembering Jordan Morgan.
Beverly Wilder has been best friend’s with Jordan Morgan’s mother, Richmond realtor Lisa Foster, for nearly 40 years. She says she watched Jordan grow up.
“What do you say to someone? I don’t have any comforting words. Time is the only thing that will heal this, if it ever does,” said Wilder.
Like the family, Wilder is trying to make sense of Jordan’s tragic death. She says she’s been staying overnight with Foster since Tuesday, and says it’s been difficult watching her friend process the tragedy. Wilder says Jordan’s step-father, Richmond realtor Don Foster, is also devastated by the loss, having helped raise Jordan.
“Nobody can console Lisa. She was so beside herself. We are such close friends that she can be open and honest with me and she doesn’t have to put on a face of any sort and she is totally devastated,” said Wilder.
According to Wilder, Jordan and Foster were a close mother-daughter pair.
“She adored her mother. She was very, very close to her mother,” said Wilder.
According to Kentucky State Police, 23-year-old Shannon Gilday of Taylor Mill, Kentucky broke into the Morgan house early Tuesday morning armed with a shotgun.
State Police say they believe he shot and killed 32-year-old Jordan Morgan, who was in her bed. He then exchanged gunfire with her father, former state representative Wesley Morgan, who was treated for non life-threatening injuries at UK Hospital and released Tuesday.
According to the University of Hawaii, Gilday attended one year of college studying bioengineering at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa, and was a part of the Army ROTC program. KSP does not believe at this time that Gilday had any previous connection to Jordan Morgan.
Wilder says Jordan was shy, funny, and extremely intelligent, just hitting her stride in her legal career, having started at Reminger law firm in Lexington barely a week ago.
“All those dreams, all those hopes, just gone. By this one kid that nobody has any connection with,” said Wilder.
ABC 36 spoke with Lisa Foster by phone Thursday morning. She’s asking for prayers for the family as the investigation continues.
Kentucky State Police believe someone out there has more information.
“We don’t know and hopefully someone in the public is going to watch this, they’re going to hear about this, they’re going to see something, and they’re going to call us,” said Kentucky State Police Sergeant Robert Purdy.
According to Kentucky State Police, 23-year-old Shannon V. Gilday was last seen driving a white 2016 Toyota Corolla with a Kentucky license plate of 379-VMJ. KSP belives that Gilday may have camping gear in his car, and is encouraging people in rural areas, state parks, and national forests to be extra vigilant.
If you see him, do not approach him as he is considered armed and dangerous. Contact KSP immediately at (859) 623-2404.
UPDATE POSTED 8:15 P.M. FEBRUARY 24, 2022
RICHMOND, Ky. (WTVQ) – Kentucky State Police have shared a new image taken of a vehicle wanted in connection to a murder investigation in Madison County.
According to KSP, the suspect, 23-year-old Shannon V. Gilday, may be driving this white 2016 Toyota Corolla with minor damage to the front grill, and a license plate of 379-VMJ.
UPDATE POSTED 1:45 P.M. FEBRUARY 24, 2022
RICHMOND, Ky. (WTVQ) – A 23-year-old Taylor Mill, Ky., man has been named as the suspect in the fatal shooting early Tuesday of the daughter of a former state representative at her father’s home just outside of Richmond.
The Kentucky State Police, Richmond Post, is requesting the public’s assistance locating Shannon V. Gilday wanted in connection with the shooting death of 32-year-old Jordan Morgan at the home of former state Rep. C. Wesley Morgan at 1266 Willis Branch Road at about 4 a.m. Tuesday.
At a press conference Thursday afternoon, Kentucky State Police said Gilday forced his way into the home at approximately 4 a.m., armed with a rifle. Once inside, he fatally shot Jordan Morgan while she was in bed. After the initial shooting, Gilday confronted Wesley Morgan, when gunshots were exchanged between the two. As a result, the homeowner sustained non-life-threatening injuries, and the armed suspect left the scene in a white passenger car.
According to the KSP, Gilday has an active arrest warrant for Murder, Burglary 1st Degree, Criminal Mischief 1st Degree, Assault 1st Degree, and two counts of Attempted Murder. Shannon Gilday is considered armed and dangerous. He is believed to be driving a white 2016 Toyota Corolla with minor damage to the front grill, and a license plate of 379-VMJ. The car looks something like this one shown here.
During Thursday’s press conference, troopers said they don’t believe Morgan and Gilday have any connection or that he was familiar with Madison County. Troopers said they found him through a tip Tuesday night from the public.
They said they put together enough information Thursday morning to obtain the warrants.
Surveillance video at the home showed him there and walking around the home just prior to invading the home. He also was injured in the incident, troopers said.
Troopers warn not to approach the vehicle or attempt to contact the driver for safety reasons. Anyone with additional information about the investigation is urged to call KSP Post 7 at 859.623.2404.
KSP Post 7 is conducting the ongoing investigation, assisted by KSP Personnel, Richmond Police Department, Madison County Sheriff’s Office, Madison County Coroner, ATF, Madison County Attorney’s Office, and Taylor Mill Police Department.
UPDATE POSTED 7:30 P.M. FEBRUARY 23, 2022
MADISON COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – As investigators continue a second day of searching for evidence surrounding the tragic death of Jordan Morgan, one University of Kentucky woman is grieving the loss of her beloved aunt.
Hayleigh Burrows, a junior studying pre-law, says that she and her aunt, just 11 years apart in age, were more like sisters.
“It’s hard to process. She was my aunt but she was more like a friend to me. We talked every day about everything and anything. So it’s been hard to adjust and to realize what’s been going on exactly. It’s been a difficult time,” said Burrows.
According to Burrows, Jordan was smart, driven, generous, and funny, and was an inspiration to Burrows as she grew up.
“There’s so many inside jokes we had because I think we were the only people who thought each other were funny. Every time we were together we were laughing about something nobody understood. It was always so great,” said Burrows.
Burrows says she’s now studying pre-law because Jordan encouraged her to follow her dreams.
“She’s always someone who believed I was smarter than I thought I was. So she was always my biggest fan helping me believe I could go to law school and follow in her footsteps in that,” said Burrows.
Wednesday, investigators returned to the scene, bringing top detectives, Kentucky State Police, and Richmond Police to the Morgan family home, looking for any evidence as to what happened, why, or who did it.
According to Kentucky State Police Sergeant Robert Purdy, investigators are talking to family members to get an accurate description of the intruder. Sergeant Purdy says it’s still unknown whether the act was targeted or random.
“Hopefully, some of those pieces of information will lead us to make an arrest,” said Sergeant Purdy.
As the investigation continues, Sergeant Purdy encourages people to stay vigilant and report any information that may help.
“Stay vigilant. We still have a suspect, an armed intruder, that came into this house and is on the loose. We don’t have the answers. Lock your doors and call if you see anything,” said Sergeant Purdy.
According to KSP, the tragic incident happened around 4:30 Tuesday morning, when a person who was armed entered the house. Shots were fired inside, killing Jordan. Gunshots were also exchanged by the homeowner, former state representative C. Wesley Morgan, and the intruder.
According to KSP, Morgan was taken to UK Hospital Tuesday where he was treated for his injuries and released.
According to the Madison County Coroner, Jordan’s autopsy was conducted Wednesday morning.
If you know of any information that may assist KSP in its investigations, call 859-623-2404.
This is a developing story.
UPDATE POSTED 4 P.M. FEB. 22, 2022
MADISON COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – Kentucky State Police say the initial investigation indicates an armed suspect entered the home at 1266 Willis Branch Road outside of Richmond just prior to 4:30 a.m., at which time shots were fired, killing woman who has been identified by friends as 32-year-old Jordan Morgan.
KSP says gunshots were then exchanged between the homeowner and intruder. As a result, the homeowner sustained non-life-threatening injuries, and was transported to the University of Kentucky Hospital, where he was treated and released, KSP said in a release.
The armed suspect left the residence after the shooting, and no arrests have been made.
Jordan Morgan had just joined the Reminger law group but was no stranger to the legal community or political circles. She was an intern in 2011 at the 25th Circuit District Court in Madison Count and then a law clerk there in 2014. According to her resume, she went on to deputy finance director in the administration of former Gov. Matt Bevin in 2015 and deputy press secretary in his administration in 2016 and 2017. In 2017 and 2018, she was assistant commonwealth attorney in the 54th Judicial Circuit in Hebron, in 2019 she was at attorney with Williams and Tow Law Group in London, and in 2019 through 2021 was with Shelton, Branham and Halbert law firm.
KSP is requesting if anyone with information or observed suspicious activity in the area between 3:30 a.m. to 4:30 a.m., to call 859.623.2404.
The ongoing investigation is being conducted by KSP Post 7 Detective Cameron Allen. He was assisted at the scene by KSP Personnel, Richmond PD, Madison County Sheriff’s Office, and the Madison County Coroner.
UPDATE POSTED 2 P.M. FEB. 22, 2022
MADISON COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – Friends on social media are confirming the shooting death of 32-year-old Jordan Morgan, young lawyer, during an apparent home invasion at the home of her parents in Madison County early Tuesday morning.
The Kentucky Trial Court Review noted on social media: “There is sad news today. Jordan Morgan, an attorney and newly hired by Reminger, was shot and killed early this morning in an apparent home invasion at the mansion of her parents in Richmond.”
Kenneth Finley at Reminger confirmed Jordan Morgan had worked at the firm for a week. He described her as, “sharp and delightful” and said the staff are “saddened and shocked by the news.”
She is the daughter of former state Rep. Wesley Morgan where the shooting occurred outside of Richmond. The home is in an exclusive community and is for sale for $6.5 million. Investigators have released few other details about the shooting, although Jordan Morgan’s mother was injured in the shooting and Wesley Morgan apparently returned fire in the shooting.
ORIGINAL STORY POSTED 9:30 A.M. FEB. 22, 2022
MADISON COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – Investigators are asking neighbors in the area of a home listed in the name of a former state representative to report whether they heard gun shots or anything suspicious at
about 4 or 4:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Investigators and Madison County Coroner Jimmy Cornelison would not confirm whether anyone actually was shot or how many were shot at the scene at 1266 Willis Branch Road near Richmond, but the owner, former state Rep. Wesley Morgan, told The Herald-Leader his 32-year-old daughter was killed and he and his wife were wounded, but he didn’t provide details, according to the newspaper.
According to Madison County property records, the address is owned by Morgan, the former 81st District state representative who won the seat in 2016, took office in 2017 and left office at the end of 2018 after losing in a primary. He ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate against Mitch McConnell in 2020. The house is for sale and has been for some time.
While state troopers and investigators aren’t releasing details, they did ask people who live in the area of the gated community to call KSP at 859-623-2404 if they heard or saw anything early Tuesday morning.
The Willis Branch Road home was previously put up for sale for $6.5 million and received attention because it features a doomsday bunker, according to the Herald-Leader.