Editor's note: Kentucky State Police have identified the man involved in a shootout with police as Jackie Murphy, 71, of Harrodsburg. Murphy has been charged with attempted murder of a police officer.
STANFORD — A man suffered multiple gunshot wounds outside Walmart
on Monday afternoon after getting into a shootout with Stanford police officer Tim Morris.
The man allegedly was fleeing the store after attempting to shoplift, State Trooper Frank Thornberry said. According to a press release, the man had been detained by a loss prevention employee, but then “brandished a firearm and fled the store.”
The name of the alleged shoplifter has not been released, but Thornberry said he is from the central Kentucky area.
Thornberry said Officer Morris encountered the suspect in the gas station parking lot and “an exchange of gunfire occurred … the suspect was struck multiple times.”
The suspect fired on Morris before Morris exited his vehicle, according to state police, who are investigating the shooting at the request of the Stanford Police Department. Investigators were setting up tripods Monday evening as they began to create a 3-D model of the crime scene.
Thornberry added that state police do not know of any bullets entering vehicles or causing any collateral damage.
The suspect was airlifted to the University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center and was in unknown condition Monday evening, according to state police. No one else was hurt in the shooting, but there were many eyewitnesses who were visibly shaken by the experience.
Kathy Pitts Fields said she was leaving Walmart to take her mother home when she saw a man running out of the store. When the man got to the Murphy USA gas station in front of Walmart, he opened fire on a police cruiser that had pulled into the lot, she said.
“He started shooting at the cops before they got out of the car,” she said. “He just turned around and started unloading.”
Stanford police, Stanford EMS, Lincoln County EMS, Lincoln County Emergency Management personnel and Kentucky State Police all responded to the scene.
Ginger Leach of Eubank had left Walmart a few minutes earlier but then returned to Murphy USA for cigarettes when the gunfire began.
Leach said the shooter was still running around the parking lot, hiding in bushes and behind vehicles even after he was wounded.
“He ran right in front of my car,” she said. “He had a hole in his lower stomach.”
Leach said the shooter eventually lay down in a corner of the parking lot.
Once the shooting had stopped, a perimeter was set up around the scene, blocking off the Murphy USA parking lot, parts of Wendy’s and Walmart’s parking lots and a stretch of the road in between the three businesses.
Customers came and went to Walmart and Wendy’s as the investigation continued.
Police scoured the scene, placing yellow markers to identify evidence, including shell casings, found on the ground. At least nine markers were visible from the perimeter of the scene at about 4 p.m.
Eyewitness Verna Young of Stanford was at the gas station when the shootout happened. Shortly after it was over, she was on her cell phone attempting to contact two family members, who were at work inside Walmart, to let them know she was OK.
“You see this up in Lexington on the news, but not here in Stanford,” she said. “This is a day I’ll never forget.”
Investigation continues downtown
A Lincoln County Sheriff’s deputy, a state trooper and Stanford Police Officer T.J. Hill were at 117 W. Main St. in downtown Stanford shortly after 5 p.m. Monday, conducting an investigation.
The deputy said he couldn’t release any details but that the investigation was tied to the shootout at Walmart.
117 W. Main St. houses offices for attorneys and a residential apartment.