LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A Kentucky prosecutor says police were justified in fatally shooting a homeless man they found in a vacant, boarded-up home last year.
The Courier Journal reported Friday that Jefferson County Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Wine said the Louisville officers will not faces any charges in the death of 32-year-old William Young Jr.
Wine said footage from the officers’ body cameras show Young attacked them with a weapon as soon as they found him. He said Young did not respond to Louisville Metro Police officers, who were searching the building after a report of a burglary.
“It is clear from the video recordings and statements from the LMPD officers and civilians that the intruder, William Young, was given ample opportunity to surrender himself to the officers or at least announce his presence,” Wine wrote in a letter to the police department.
At the time of the shooting, police said Young advanced toward an officer with a skewer-like item before he was shot. In Wine’s review of the case, he said the officer who shot Young was poked with a 12-inch (30-centimeter) pointed metal pole near his collarbone.
Young’s autopsy report showed he was shot 10 times and tested positive for methamphetamine.
Young’s mother filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city. Her attorney, Gregory Belzley, said even if criminal charges aren’t warranted, he believes the confrontation with the “frightened, mentally-ill homeless man” was unnecessary and could have been avoided.