The man shot to death by a Scott County deputy Tuesday allegedly put his gun to a man’s head, pulled the trigger but it did not discharge.
However, another source who asked to remain anonymous told the News-Graphic the man was holding a construction tool, not a gun, when he approached the deputy.
Witness and social media accounts describe a chaotic period that eventually led to the deputy shooting and killing Chester T. McDonald, 44, of Georgetown in Homestead Estates on Frankfort Pike. The News-Graphic verified the social media accounts with multiple sources, including law enforcement.
Homestead Estates is a small, quiet subdivision with about 130 homes, many located on cul-de-sacs. It is described as a friendly neighborhood with “good neighbors who look out for each other.” The incident took place on Raccoon Run about 7:42 p.m.
McDonald was hired for some construction contract work on a house when he got into a heated argument with a man who apparently worked for him. McDonald apparently struck the man and was yelling loudly, drawing the attention of others.
The following is an eye witness account posted on social media:
“We called 911. We walked down to check on the guy who was hurt and the man started screaming at me, telling me to hang up the phone and calling me names. My husband asked him to stop speaking to me like that and he went to the truck and got a gun. He literally chased us back to our yard and pulled the trigger pointed at me twice but the gun didn’t fire.
“My husband got between us and he put the gun to my husband’s head and pulled the trigger again. It didn’t fire again. He then hit my husband with the gun.”
Pete Combs Jr. told WKYT a similar story.
“The officer tried to de-escalate the situation, talk the man down and the guy just became more combative,” Combs told WKYT’s Jim Stratman. “He just became more irate, talking about he didn’t have this and he didn’t have that and he came and he had something in his arm, something in his hand, rather.
“The officer was like, ‘Sir, I see a weapon you have in your hand. Put it down.’ The guy still, he didn’t heed the officer’s warnings and from that, the officer had to do what he had to do in order to preserve himself and the lives of the people around.”
Scott County Sheriff Tony Hampton asked the Kentucky State Police and its Critical Incident Response Team to investigate. KSP Trooper Stuart Jackson was designated as lead investigator. The Critical Incident Response Team investigates officer-involved shootings.
“The initial investigation indicates that the Scott County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to a domestic dispute,” Jackson said in a press release. “As the deputy arrived on the scene, he was approached by an individual in an aggressive manner who was wielding a weapon.
“The deputy fired multiple shots striking the individual.”
The deputy gave “repeated commands” for McDonald to drop his weapon, but he failed to do so, said Sgt. Eddie Hart, public information officer for the Scott County Sheriff’s Office in a press release. Neither the Scott County Sheriff’s Office nor KSP press releases specifically identify the “weapon,” and KSP has declined to comment on the recovery of a gun because the investigation is ongoing. The Scott County Sheriff’s Office has referred all questions to KSP.
Scott County Coroner John Goble pronounced McDonald dead on the scene at 8:50 p.m. He was sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Frankfort for an autopsy, which determined the cause of death was multiple gunshot wounds.
Several witnesses said they heard up to seven shots. Two bullet holes were seen in McDonald’s truck.
Witnesses said a deputy was seen giving McDonald CPR before paramedics could arrive.
The deputy involved in the shooting has been placed on paid administrative leave, which is normal protocol, Hart said. His identity has not been released.
Harrod Brothers Funeral Home in Frankfort will be handing the arrangements for McDonald.
James Scogin assisted with the reporting on this article.
Mike Scogin can be reached at email@example.com.