Downstairs neighbor killed when suspect fired AR-15 into floor, police say

Downstairs neighbor killed when suspect fired AR-15 into floor, police say
Published: Aug. 22, 2022 at 10:58 AM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The suspect in a deadly Lexington shooting will go before a grand jury.

Police say Keith Denton shot and killed 38-year-old Kadage Albert Byishim. The shooting happened on July 20 in the 300 block of Quinton Court.

Denton is facing a murder charge. However, one big question the defense asked in court Monday morning was Denton’s intention - Did he intend to shoot Byishimo and, if not, does that qualify as murder?

For the sake of this preliminary hearing, the prosecution said, “yes, it does.” For a preliminary hearing, the prosecution only has to prove probable cause. So, it’s a much lower burden of proof than in a trial.

Detective William Phillips testified in court Monday that Denton has experience with firearms and knew what he was doing.

“Mr. Denton is aware of what happens when he pulls the trigger of a firearm,” Phillips said. “He intentionally pulled the trigger of that firearm, knowing what could be an outcome.”

According to the judge, that “wanton disregard for life” met the probable cause standard for murder.

Police say Denton pulled the trigger in his girlfriend’s apartment, the one above where Byishimo was lying in bed next to his infant. Neighbors told police they heard Denton on the phone in some emotional distress before the shot was fired.

Detective Williams says police determined Denton fired one round from an AR-15 into the floor of his apartment. That bullet broke apart and struck Byishimo twice in the chest.

“They found a victim laying to the right of his bed suffering from a gunshot wound to his chest. Two, but it was from one bullet. It was explained to us that it had split into two different pieces and struck him in the chest,” said Phillips.

Police transported Byishimo to the hospital where he passed away.

After the shooting, police say Denton wrapped that AR-15 in a blanket, disposed of it and went to a hotel. Officers say surveillance footage helped them identify Denton and they arrested him at the hotel. Police say when he was arrested they found a shell casing matching an AR-15 in a pant pocket.

In addition to the murder charge, Denton is also charged with possession of a stolen firearm, wanton endangerment, tampering with physical evidence and possession of meth, which police say they found inside Denton’s apartment.

The judge agreed with the prosecution that the conditions for probable cause were met on all charges and now Denton will face a Fayette County Grand Jury.