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Here's why the FBI says the suspect in last week's downtown chase ran from police

John Lohden Jr. said he could purchase stolen guns as a police informant. In reality, he sold the firearms to authorities as part of a scheme, an FBI agent says.

Joseph Garcia

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Published: 5:02 AM EDT August 25, 2022
Updated: 5:42 AM EDT August 25, 2022

New information is coming out about the man who led police on a chase through downtown Louisville last week.

A spokesperson for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) confirmed with WHAS11 News that John E. Lohden Jr. was arrested on Aug. 18 following the downtown chase.

According to a federal complaint filed in July, Lohden was assisting the FBI and Louisville Metro Police as an informant in a joint investigation into stolen weapons being sold in Louisville.

On Jan. 6, 2022 Lohden informed authorities he knew someone in possession of stolen guns and said he would be able to purchase the weapons for police, the complaint says.

“At the direction of law enforcement, Lohden purportedly placed an order for a shotgun, rifle and ballistic body armor,” Special Agent Zachary Harrison said.

Credit: Oldham County Detention Center
John Lohden Jr.'s mugshot after being arrested on Thursday following a police chase through downtown Louisville.

Harrison says the purchase was set to take place in the parking lot of the Jefferson Mall where Lohden planned to buy the stolen items for $2,000 cash.

Lohden drove to the mall parking lot, equipped with police surveillance equipment, and purchased the guns and vest from a man in a green pickup truck, who he said he knew as “Brent.”

After the transaction, he then met with authorities and gave police the firearms as planned, but the complaint says police knew something was off.

Harrison says police recovered a short-barreled assault rifle, shotgun, tactical vest, as well as two other AR-15 rifles. 

The FBI agent said the two additional AR-15s caused concern among officers as “this was a highly unlikely event to occur based on our experience.”

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