State trooper cleared of wrongdoing in fatal shooting
From The Times Tribune -
WHITLEY COUNTY -- The Kentucky State Police trooper who fatally shot a Jellico, Tennessee man in September 2018 has been cleared of any possible wrongdoing, with a Whitley County grand jury deciding Monday that the trooper's actions were justified.
On Sept. 23, 2018, Trooper Jeremy Elliotte of KSP Post 11 in London shot Ronald W. Leach, 29, inside his KY-2804 residence during a fight that erupted between the two while Elliotte was attempting to investigate a complaint of a man threatening to harm his 1-year-old child.
The shooting was investigated by the KSP Critical Incident Response Team. Lt. Jim Goble, who is a member of CIRT, recently provided testimony before the grand jury concerning the team's findings. After reviewing the information from the incident, the grand jury voted that no action needed to be taken. A report was released Monday, in which the grand jury states that Elliotte "was justified in using his weapon against Mr. Leach."
The Times-Tribune reached out to KSP Post 11 Public Affairs Officer Lloyd Cochran Monday afternoon for a statement regarding the decision by the grand jury, though he declined to provide any further comment.
On the date of the shooting, Elliotte was dispatched to Leach's residence to investigate a complaint received by Whitley County 911 concerning a man, identified as Leach, allegedly threatening to harm his 1-year-old child while locked inside a vehicle in the driveway of the home.
When Elliotte arrived at the scene, Leach had since exited the vehicle and barricaded himself and the child inside his home. Elliotte was soon able to gain entry into the residence, where he found Leach and the child.
Once Elliotte made contact with Leach, an altercation ensued between the two, during which Leach allegedly attempted to assault Elliotte with a weapon. As the fight between the two continued to escalate, Elliotte fired his service weapon, striking Leach.
The Whitley County Coroner's office pronounced Leach dead at the scene. Neither the child or Elliotte were injured during the incident. Elliotte was placed on administrative leave following the incident, which is standard protocol for all officer-involved shootings.