Beshear gives update on coronavirus, fatal shooting probe
By TOM LATEK, Kentucky Today
FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – A large spike in new cases of the coronavirus and the state’s youngest victim to die from it were among the topics discussed by Gov. Andy Beshear during his daily press briefing on Wednesday.
“On our list of deaths today, we have a 9-month old child from Hopkins County,” Beshear said. “The lead cause of death will not be COVID-19, but the way we have listed every other individual is, if it was a contributing factor, it will be on our COVID list.”
State Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said: “In a normal world without COVID, the cause of death probably would have been SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The case will remain open at this time while they try to better understand it, but as is unfortunately often the case in circumstances like this, certainty is not possible.”
There was another unusual death reported Wednesday, according to Dr. Stack. “This was a 48-year-old male from Shelby County. This was an individual we were aware was COVID positive, and to our understanding, was doing fine. He did not have any pre-existing conditions that we are aware of.”
He reminded people, “Although it happens infrequently in these younger categories for ages, it is a serious and dangerous disease.”
In addition to those two deaths, six more were reported on Wednesday. Three of them were from Jefferson County, two from Edmonson County and the other from Gallatin County. These raise the total to 450.
A total of 265 new cases of the coronavirus were also announced Wednesday, making the pandemic total 10,410. Beshear stated, “I don’t think this 265 is a cause for alarm, though it is at least a reminder that this virus is still out there and spreading.”
Robertson County is now the only one in Kentucky where no positive case of COVID-19 has been reported to the state.
Fatal shooting update
Michael Brown, Secretary of the Governor’s Cabinet, gave a brief update on the Kentucky State Police investigation into the death of a man in west Louisville after shots were fired at police and Kentucky National Guardsmen early Monday morning. The officers and two Guardsmen returned fire.
David McAtee, the owner of Yaya’s BBQ Shack restaurant, was dead at the scene, where police and the Guard were trying to break up a gathering that was in violation of the 9 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. curfew imposed through June 8 by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.
Brown said McAtee died of a single gunshot wound to the chest, and said, “We have not recovered a whole bullet, but we have recovered, I understand today, some fragments. We are now in the process of trying to identify the nature of those fragments to determine if they came from one bullet or more than one bullet and hopefully determine the caliber.”
He said they hope to have some information on those bullet fragments on Thursday or Friday, and the results of gunshot residue tests performed on McAtee and others at the scene on Monday.
Beshear said, “This is much more information than normally would come out during an investigation, but this is one where I know we have to be transparent.”
More from Louisville
Regarding some of the violence that has taken place in Louisville, Russell Coleman, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky, announced Wednesday the federal prosecution of Tevin R. Patton for being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm. A federal criminal complaint says the Memphis, Tennessee, man drew a firearm after curfew earlier this week in downtown Louisville.
“We cherish First Amendment-protected speech in Kentucky but will not tolerate outsiders traveling to Louisville to do harm to our city and its people,” Coleman said. “This type criminal conduct puts both protestors and police at risk. This results from outstanding collaboration between the FBI, ATF, U.S. Secret Service, and LMPD. At the direction of Attorney General Barr, we will utilize the framework of the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force to identify, apprehend, and federally prosecute anyone who exploits peaceful protest for violence or to violate federal law.”
According to the criminal complaint, on June 1, around 10:20 p.m., Patton was viewed by law enforcement who were conducting surveillance near South Fourth Street in downtown Louisville. During the surveillance, a U.S. Secret Service special agent observed Patton pull out a gun.
Law enforcement at the scene then dispersed the crowd with tear gas and flash bang devices, striking Patton with pepper balls once he was observed pointing the gun in the air. Upon being struck by the pepper balls, Patton ran to his car and fled the scene. Police then stopped Patton’s vehicle and located a Springfield Armory USA, model XDs-45, .45 caliber pistol in his vehicle, partially loaded with four rounds remaining in a ten-round magazine.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, in 2013, Patton pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary, a felony, in Tennessee. Additionally, in 2016 Patton pleaded guilty to aggravated assault, another felony, in Tennessee. In 2016, Patton was also charged with fourth-degree domestic violence and fleeing or evading police, first degree.
If convicted at trial, the maximum sentence for being a convicted felon unlawfully possessing a firearm is no more than 10 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release.