New questions in story of off-duty officer who fired weapon at Kroger

The officer says he was trying to stop a shoplifter and says his gun accidentally went off, hitting a car. Investigators say that story does not match evidence they've uncovered in the investigation.

LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) -- There are new questions into a shooting outside of a Kroger by an off-duty Metro Corrections officer. The officer said he was trying to stop a shoplifter and says his gun accidentally went off, hitting a car. But investigators are questioning that story after gathering more evidence in the case. 

In the middle of a busy Kroger parking lot, off-duty Metro Corrections Officer John Thomas fired his weapon last Wednesday. According to officials, that part of the story is a fact.

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"Anytime things like this happen you always take a second, third, fourth look- that's what investigations are for," FOP President Tracy Dotson said.

Thomas told officials on scene that he had become aware of a shoplifter inside the store so he approached the suspect. 

"The suspect had indicated that he had a gun according to claims at the scene, exited into the parking lot, the officer followed him, at that point, there was an escape in a vehicle and a shooting incidentDotson said.

RELATED: Corrections officer suspended while police investigate Kroger incident

The officer had initially said it was an accident, claiming he didn't intentionally fire his gun. But now that claim is in question.

Dotson said, "There are some irregularities that's being reported in contrast to the on-scene statement ."

Dotson won't go into the details but said there is reason to believe the initial story may not be completely true.

Three days after the incident Thomas was placed on unpaid suspension. The officer has only been with Metro Corrections since April.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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