Officers recount their take on Wicker shooting death

Hearing from officers involved in Wicker case

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- For the first time in this case, we're hearing from the officers at the center of this investigation. Beyond body camera footage, we've never heard Officers Taylor Banks and Beau Gadegaard describe in their own words what lead to them shooting Darnell Wicker more than a dozen times, killing him.

Early on, we heard from LMPD Chief Steve Conrad. Right after Darnell Wicker was killed in August, he told us that Wicker never lunged at officers or acted aggressively. In the interviews with those officers shortly after the shooting, they tell a very different story.  

The evidence, according to Jefferson County Commonwealth's Attorney Tom Wine points to Officers Beau Gadegaard and Taylor Banks being justified in killing Darnell Wicker on August 8, 2016.

Now, we're hearing officers descriptions of what happened for the first time, Officer Taylor Banks says during his interview that night, “"It had to be at least a three to five foot knife, I mean it was big. He was kind of standing there and he kind of swung it by his side. He didn't swing it swing it, but he kind of swung it by his side and then he took steps towards us.”  

The medical examiner says Wicker was shot 14 times, the officers say they feared for their lives.

Officer Beau Gadegaard explains during his interview after the shooting, “He bends over and hunkers down in like an aggressive stance and he looks me in my eyes, dead in my eyes and I see pure evil. It looks like he wants to kill me, Brian, all of us and I've never seen that actual look in someone's eyes before.”

The Wicker family maintains Darnell made no aggressive moves towards officers and that the video evidence confirms the saw was by his side in his left hand.

Officer Banks adds, “I was in fear of my life and the lives of the other two officers.”

Commonwealth Attorney Tom Wine says the case will not go to a Grand Jury. Chief Conrad tells us Banks and Gadegaard are back to normal duties while the department's Professional Standards Unit conducts an administrative investigation.

 

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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