Police release little information weeks after man killed in standoff; family organizes rally

WATCH | Police release little information weeks after man killed in standoff; family organizes rally
Published: Nov. 11, 2022 at 4:50 PM EST
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NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (WKYT) - Saturday marks three weeks since 22-year-old Desman LaDuke was shot and killed during a standoff with Nicholasville police.

LaDuke’s family says he was having a mental crisis when police shot him. However, police have never said who actually fired the shot.

Since LaDuke’s shooting, very little information has been released by law enforcement officials about how this standoff situation unfolded.

Now, LaDuke’s aunt, Melissa Marks, says they are organizing an event Saturday in the hopes of breaking through that silence and seeking justice for their lost loved one.

Marks says LaDuke has basically been her son since he was born and had a positive influence on those around him.

“He was just the type of person that once he touched you, you never wanted to let him go. He’s irreplaceable,” said Marks.


In a letter released by the family, they noted LaDuke losing both his mother and brother had made life difficult on some days and October 22 was one of those difficult days.

“His girlfriend was telling me that he had a gun and was saying he was going to kill himself,” said Marks.

Marks immediately called 911 thinking they could help LaDuke. However, when she arrived at LaDuke’s home, she says she found a SWAT team surrounding the house.

“You would think that he had hostages in there,” said Marks. “I thought that something that escalated that I didn’t know about, but it was just him in there.”

A shot was fired and LaDuke later died at the hospital.

Nicholasville police claim LaDuke pointed handguns at the officers, but Marks wants to see evidence of that and says the police presence was still inappropriate. She says the various law enforcement agencies involved in this incident still have not reached out to them to offer any resources or inform them of what happened.

So, the family is taking part in a rally at Clinton Hayden Park in Nicholasville at 2 p.m. on Saturday to demand answers for LaDuke’s death and demand steps be taken so that another life isn’t taken in this way.

“I just want everybody to understand that this could be your kid. This could be your kid,” said Marks. “This should’ve never happened. He didn’t deserve that. He just needed help.”

We reached out to the Nicholasville Police Department to explain how they generally handle people in crisis situations and they asked us to file an open records request to learn about their policies.

We also reached out to Kentucky State Police for an update on their investigation, but they did not respond to our request for comment.