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Louisvillians concerned about time and place of Shawnee Park arrest, shooting

WHAS spoke to a retired judge about outstanding warrants; court documents show Herbert Lee had 12. LMPD Chief Shields said officers were attempting to arrest him.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — There are still questions surrounding the officer-involved shooting at Shawnee Park.

Residents in West Louisville have called WHAS asking when and how are warrants supposed to be served.

Court documents show Herbert Lee had 12 outstanding warrants; LMPD Chief Erika Shields said officers were attempting to arrest him when Lee shot an officer.

WHAS spoke to a retired judge about the matter of timing.

Former Jefferson District Court Judge Toni Stringer, a West Louisville resident herself, said there are no restrictions in serving an outstanding warrant.

"Once there is an arrest warrant, it doesn't matter where you are, what you're doing, any peace officer who happens to see you can arrest you and take you into custody, forthwith,” Stringer said.

Though it has legal standing, not everyone thinks the arrest was the right move at the time.

Shields says the arrest led to a chase between Lee and officers; Lee then shot an officer, and police returned fire. LMPD said Lee is expected to survive and the police officer is doing well.

Breeway Warriors Coach Bruce Sweeney said kids saw the shooting unfold, so it should have been handled differently.

"At the end of the day you could have blocked the perimeter and shut the park down,” Sweeney said. “He was on feet.”

RELATED: Who is Herbert Lee? What we know about the man allegedly involved in the Shawnee Park shooting

Dirt Bowl Organizer Ravon Churchill said he's reserving judgment.

"Don't be so rushed to judge LMPD or the alleged suspect,” Churchill said. “We don't know what either one was thinking."

Shields said officers waited until after the Dirt Bowl was over, but says ultimately, they were justified. 

She also said Lee's ability to be out on bond is a factor in the situation.

Court documents WHAS found show Lee's last appearance in court was in February and he failed to show in March.

"It's inevitable that we're going to have officers in a space where they have to deal with these things and my concern is an uptick in officer-involved shootings,” Shields said. “These officers have an obligation to enforce the law."

Overall, organizers said the shooting doesn't reflect the Dirt Bowl and said it's a shame this has overshadowed the event.

Shields said body cam footage of the shooting is expected in the future.

► Contact reporter Bobbi McSwine at BMcSwine@whas11.com or on Facebook or Twitter

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