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Kentucky State Police Complete Investigation Into David McAtee's Death

Chef David McAtee, preparing food for homeless families at the Volunteers of America family shelter in Louisville.
Courtesy Jerry McBroom
Chef David McAtee, preparing food for homeless families at the Volunteers of America family shelter in Louisville.

Investigators from the Kentucky State Police have "substantially completed" their investigation into the incident that led to law enforcement officers shooting and killing Louisville barbecue restaurant owner David McAtee.

The FBI and U.S. Attorney’s office are also investigating McAtee’s death. Executive Cabinet Secretary J. Michael Brown announced the end of the KSP investigation on Monday, during Gov. Andy Beshear's afternoon briefing. Brown said the investigation hasn't concluded anything significantly different from the sequence of events authorities have previously presented.

"There's nothing to suggest from the evidence collected so far that there's any significant different between the sequence of events and actions that was previously reported or captured on the videos," Brown said.

McAtee was killed just after midnight on June 1, 2020, at his barbecue stand at the intersection of 26th and Broadway. His death came after several consecutive nights of protests in Louisville over the killing of Breonna Taylor prompted Mayor Greg Fischer to impose a curfewand Beshear to call in the Kentucky National Guard.

When LMPD and National Guardsmen went to break up a social gathering far from the protests — illegal because of the curfew — at 26th and Broadway, they used pepper balls. Brown says the investigation confirmed what officials have previously announced: that McAtee had a handgun and appears to have fired it. Two police officers and two guardsmen returned fire. McAtee was shot and killed; later, investigators concluded it was a bullet from a National Guardsmen that hit McAtee.

Brown said the investigation included more than 170 interviews, as well as Kentucky State Police lab reports. It will now be turned over to the Jefferson County Commonwealth Attorney's Office for review, and will remain open until that review is complete.

Brown added that the U.S. Attorney has formally requested that the state not publicly release any additional information until the federal investigation is complete.

This post will be updated.