LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – An off-duty Louisville Metro Police officer who shot an unarmed suspect, may have been under the influence of alcohol at the time. That’s according to the police chief. We’ve also learned the name of the man shot by that officer.
According to his attorney, 22-year-old Ishmael Gough was on his way home late Tuesday night when he noticed he was being followed. He claims he was stopped by off-duty officer Chauncey Carthan and shot in the thigh.
"I can tell you that my client was unarmed, that he hasn't been charged with any crimes and that he pleaded not to be shot and he was shot right here in the street," attorney Derek O’Bryan said.
But, the details of the shooting are murky. Gough told his attorney that he doesn’t know Carthan and, in his opinion, hadn’t done anything to raise the officer’s suspicions.
"I can tell you that according to my client, the police officer was acting erratically like he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol," O’Bryan said.
Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad says they’re looking into that possibility, "Investigators from the Public Integrity Unit did in fact have concerns about the officer being under the influence of alcohol."
Investigators collected evidence from Carthan, on the scene, that have been sent to the Kentucky State Police lab for analysis.
"It's also important to understand that we need to talk with all the parties involved to make sure we have a clear understanding of what occurred before we draw any conclusions and complete our investigation," said Chief Conrad.
A lot of unknowns linger around the investigation. Like, why an off-duty officer, in plain clothes and an unmarked car would end up shooting an unarmed man. Conrad says, they’re trying to piece the night together, but he says, frankly, they aren’t clear on what happened.
We asked what the standard operating procedure is if an off-duty, plain clothes officer witnesses some sort of crime. "We have a duty, we're police officers at all times and we have a duty to act if an officer was witnessing a serious crime, you would expect them to take some sort of action. Other crimes, they would have the opportunity to call that in and request additional assistance but we do have policy that requires some sort of action," answered Chief Conrad. He also said Officer Carthan did not call for back up and did not call 911.
Gough is now home recovering from his gunshot wound. The Public Integrity Unit is investigating the shooting. We’re told Officer Carthan has not been interviewed about the shooting yet. He will remain on paid administrative leave until the investigation is completed.