LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) -- One man is dead and a Metro Police officer is on administrative leave following a shooting Saturday afternoon. LMPD Chief Steve Conrad said the officer, who he did not identify, was responding to a report of a woman assaulted in the 300 block of West Oak St. The officer saw a man matching the suspect description and approached him, said Conrad.
Moments later the officer fired two shots at the man. He was taken to University Hospital where he died from his injuries. Conrad said the officer shot the man twice in self-defense because he tried to attack the officer with a flag pole.
"At this point our Public Integrity Unit is conducting their investigation," said Conrad. "Our officer will be placed on administrative leave. That is normal protocol."
Kenneth Williams, who said he saw the shooting, thought the use of deadly force was unjustified. "He was drunk. [The officer] could have maced him. He could have used his stun gun. He didn't have to shoot that man. He wasn't no threat."
The confrontation happened near Smoker's Smoke Shop, a convenience store at the corner of 4th and Oak streets. The store's security cameras captured video of the deadly encounter, which lasted just 45 seconds.
The video surveillance shows the officer pull over and approach the man about the alleged assault.
The man appears to get increasingly agitated with the officer during their brief conversation. He walks out of the video frame swinging his arms. The officer starts the follow him, then suddenly reaches for his gun as he appears to radio back to dispatch.
Suddenly the man enters the frame, swinging a metal flag pole at the officer. The video shows the man striking the officer once, hitting him so hard that the flag pole broke in half. The officer is seen firing his gun, shooting the man twice. Witnesses said he was shot on his side.
Officials have not yet identified the shooting victim, but many neighbors in the area said they were familiar with him. When the police tape was removed Saturday evening a woman left flowers in the spot where he died and kneeled at the site in prayer.
Following a brief verbal briefing Saturday evening, LMPD said further information on the shooting investigation would likely not be released until Tuesday.