No state charges for Kentucky National Guard, Louisville police in David McAtee’s death

David McAtee / Source: WAVE
David McAtee / Source: WAVE(KNOE)
Updated: May. 25, 2021 at 9:51 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Commonwealth Attorney Tom Wine announced Tuesday no state charges would be filed in relation to the death investigation of David McAtee.

The investigation was brought to the office of the commonwealth attorney back in August following an investigation into McAtee’s death by Kentucky State Police.

McAtee was shot and killed in the early-morning hours of June 1 after Louisville Metro Police and Kentucky National Guard officers were called to the intersection of 26th and Broadway to clear the area.

Investigation into the incident by the commonwealth attorney said LMPD officers fired several pepper ball shots near McAtee’s restaurant, YaYa’s BBQ Shack, to disperse a crowd.

Wine said in a recorded statement, Marvin McAtee, David’s nephew, had told his uncle there were marshals outside.

“Nevertheless, following the hurried entry of Ms. McAtee and others into YaYa’s through the side door, Mr. McAtee pointed a gun out that door and fired one shot,” Wine said in his statement. “He then stepped back inside before reemerging to fire a second shot. Surveillance video from inside YaYa’s captured these events.”

In response to the two shots fired by McAtee, LMPD officers switched from non-lethal weapons to their service weapons. National Guards members armed rifles in response.

Following the second shot, four members between LMPD and National Guard members fired their weapons. No other officers fired back, Wine stated.

LMPD officer Katie Crews fired eight times and officer Austin Allen fired once. Kentucky National Guard soldier Andrew Kroszkewicz fired four times and Staff Sergeant Matthew Roark fired six times.

McAtee was struck once in the chest. Paramedics arrived within five minutes of the incident but McAtee had already died.

Investigation revealed that the two LMPD officers who fired did not activate body cameras and the National Guard members were not equipped with cameras.

Evidence from the shooting revealed the bullet fragments within McAtee’s body were too damaged to be identified from a single weapon, but were determined to have been fired from an M-4 rifle that was used by a National Guard soldier.

Wine announced following an investigation that the LMPD officers acted in accordance with Louisville police standard operating procedure, and Kentucky National Guard’s use of force policy were “authorized to discharge their firearms in defense of human life, including their own, when they reasonably believed, based on the facts and circumstances, that Mr. McAtee posed an immediate threat of death or serious injury to them or to another person.”

The conclusion of the investigation will not be brought forward to a Jefferson County Grand Jury or will present any charges against any of the LMPD officers or National Guard soldiers who fired their weapons.

Wine said that a federal investigation is ongoing at this time.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear commented on the investigation Tuesday afternoon in his press briefing.

“It’s tragic anytime a life is lost, Mr. McAtee was loved by the community in which he lived,” Beshear said. “I believe the public should be able to see the full analysis of Tom Wine. I believe that it is very through but presents a lot of information that the public can then analyze and ultimately come to their own conclusions.”

“I think what it will show people is that a lot of time was spent to make sure the facts could be uncovered and I think those facts need to be presented to the people of Kentucky,” Beshear said.

Kentucky State Police and Louisville Metro Police also released the full findings of the investigation to the public Tuesday afternoon.

“Today KSP and LMPD received the findings of the shooting death investigation of David McAtee by the office of Jefferson County Commonwealth’s Attorney Thomas Wine.  In an effort to strengthen transparency, KSP and LMPD leadership are releasing those findings today. Attached is Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Wine’s report of his office’s review of the investigation into the death of David McAtee. The names of some citizens identified as witnesses have been redacted pursuant to KRS 61.878(1)(a) as the disclosure of their identities would constitute an unwarranted invasion of their personal privacy. Information obtained from an ATF Firearm Trace has been redacted pursuant to the 2012 Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, which prohibits the public disclosure of information obtained from the ATF Firearms Trace.”

The full document from the Commonwealth Attorney’s office can be read below:

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