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Family of man killed by undercover LMPD officer refutes police claims of armed carjacking

A memorial for Mark Jaggers Jr. at the site where he was shot and killed by an undercover Louisville Metro Police Department office on June 19.
Danielle Kaye
/
LPM
A memorial for Mark Jaggers Jr. at the site where he was shot and killed by an undercover Louisville Metro Police Department office on June 19.

Police officials say the man who was shot and killed by an undercover officer Monday afternoon in the Portland neighborhood was attempting an armed carjacking. But the victim’s family is refuting that accusation, claiming he was not armed and was actually trying to take the car for a joyride.

The man, whose father identified him as 21-year-old Mark Jaggers Jr., was transported to University of Louisville Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Louisville Metro Police Department interim police chief Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel told reporters Monday afternoon that at the time of the shooting, two officers in LMPD’s Fugitive Unit were near the corner of 22nd Street and Griffiths Avenue looking for a person connected to an unrelated nonfatal shooting.

Gwinn-Villaroel said the man who was killed – who she initially described as a white man in his 20s – had “attempted to carjack the officers with a gun,” prompting one of the officers to shoot him with his service weapon.

But Mark Jaggers, the father of Mark Jaggers Jr., told LPM News his son wasn’t trying to carjack the officers. Instead, Jaggers said, his son thought the car had been stolen and left in the alley next to his home. His son was planning to take it out for a joyride, inspired by a TikTok trend, Jaggers said.

“A carjacking is when you run up on people with a pistol out and demand them to get out of the car,” Jaggers said. “My son never knew nobody was in that car.”

When LPM visited the site of the shooting on Tuesday, multiple abandoned vehicles were sitting in the alley, located between Owen St. and Garfield Ave. Jaggers said it’s a known spot for stolen cars.

A small cluster of candles and flowers indicated the spot where Jaggers Jr. was shot and killed – just steps away from where he lived, according to his father.

“My boy’s seen the car … he thought maybe somebody had stolen it and left it there. So he was gonna run up in there and take the car joyriding,” Jaggers said. “But as soon as he opened the door, the police shot him.”

Jaggers said his son’s girlfriend arrived at the scene just moments after the shooting. Security camera footage from a neighbor, he said, shows police pulling a gun on her as well, and asking whether his son had a gun – after they had already shot him.

Jaggers said his son was not visibly carrying a weapon when he approached the police vehicle. LPM has not yet obtained a copy of the security footage.

“They could’ve hit that little siren to let my boy know they was in the car when they seen him checking the car out, to see if it was a stolen car,” Jaggers said. “But they didn’t.”

Jaggers said his son is survived by two children. Jaggers Jr.’s youngest is seven months old; his oldest will turn five this weekend, he said.

Kentucky State Police is investigating the shooting. The agency did not immediately respond to requests for comment. An LMPD spokesperson declined to comment on the Jaggers family’s objections to police accounts of what took place.

Gwinn-Villaroel said the officer who shot Mark Jaggers Jr. was a 10-year-veteran of the force.

Jaggers said he rushed to the scene of the shooting after his son’s girlfriend called him with the news. When he arrived, he said an officer was giving his son chest compressions.

Jaggers said he’ll keep pushing back against LMPD’s claims about an alleged armed carjacking. He said police haven’t contacted him for information about the shooting.

“I want to prove that wrong, by his name. I want it to be right,” Jaggers said. “I want it to be the truth.”