LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – A snowy evening at Cherokee Park’s most popular section in the Highlands turned into a deadly scene on Thursday evening.
Police said three suspects who had just robbed a PNC bank on the 1300 block of Bardstown Road tried to escape through Cherokee Park on Feb. 6. They stopped at Dog Hill and the Scenic Loop, where two suspects were captured and another shot himself.
The two suspects that were arrested, 19-year-old Bradley Scarbrough and a 17-year-old male, are charged with robbery in the first degree.
The third suspect has been identified as 21-year-old Lucas Ohnimus.
“We were just coming out here to go sledding and enjoy a winter day and now we’re in this,” said one Mount Washington student who witnessed the incident. He and several of his friends came to Cherokee Park to take advantage of another school snow day.
The teens were standing on Dog Hill when they saw an SUV pull up Alexander Road.
“A guy got out and then gunshot and he was down. I didn’t know where the gunshot came from. It sounded like it came from the guy, he shot himself,” said another teen.
“Information that we have received is that three men had actually gotten into an SUV vehicle and fled the scene of the bank robbery,” LMPD Spokesperson Alicia Smiley said.
Officers followed the vehicle. The SUV stopped at Alexander and Scenic Loop.
“Two of the suspects got out of the vehicle. Our officers were able to detain them immediately,” said Smiley.
The third suspect tried to drive off. “Because of the road conditions, he was unable to do so,” Smiley said.
The third suspect got out of the vehicle and police say he pointed a gun at his own head. “Our officers did command him to put the weapon down,” Smiley said. “He refused to do so and fired at himself.”
Vicki Beldon watched it all happen.
“Officer came out and pulled a weapon out and two of them went to the ground and back behind them, I heard one gunshot,” she said.
“I saw the man laying down and I saw a lot of blood,” one teenage witness said.
The man was taken to University Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The shocked students were left to recount those stunning moments on the sled hill.
“I’ve seen it in movies, never in person. It’s not something I like being around,” one witness said.
After police concluded Thursday’s investigation into the robbery at PNC Bank on 1301 Bardstown Road, and compared open bank robberies in the Louisville Metro area, the LMPD Robbery Unit believes Lucas Ohnimus is responsible for a PNC Bank robbery on 4640 Southern Parkway on Dec. 26, 2013. The suspect entered the bank wearing a shiny silver mask and demanded money from the bank but did not display a weapon.
LMPD’s Public Integrity Unit is investigating the incident.