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Lawrence County Sheriff Issues Statement on Officer Involved Shooting
Updated January 5, 2018 2:56 PM
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(BEDFORD) - Lawrence County Sheriff Mike Branham issued the following statement today regarding a use of force incident on December 24th that injured Anita Keller.

Keller was wounded by officers during the incident and is recovering from her injuries.

The investigation revealed that officers responded to an immediate threat from an armed individual that was justifiable under the Sheriff's Office policies and procedures and that did not violate any internal rules or state or federal laws. Accordingly, the officers involved have been restored to full duty after serving on paid administrative leave during the pendency of the internal investigation.

The Sheriff's Office will not provide additional detail of its investigation until notified by the County prosecutor's office that its separate investigation of Anita Keller is complete.

The Sheriff's Office will not interfere with or prejudice that investigation with a premature release of additional investigative detail. Upon final resolution of the prosecutor's investigation of Keller, additional information may become available to the public regarding the internal investigation.

The incident:

Lawrence County Sheriff Mike Branham issued the following statement regarding the officer involved shooting on Christmas Eve.

At approximately 1:49 a.m. Lawrence County Central Dispatch received a 911 call at 559 Old Buddha Road. The caller told dispatchers that her daughter, Anita Keller, left the house to go outside. When the caller noticed her daughter had not returned, she searched for her daughter without success and heard a gunshot. She returned to the house and called 911.

The caller told the dispatcher she feared her daughter had shot herself.

Three officers from the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office responded to the scene along with an AMR ambulance crew, which was directed to stage nearby.

Based on the report to the dispatcher, the officers anticipated they were searching for an individual with a possible self-inflicted gunshot wound. During a search behind the residence, officers heard movement in a field and located Keller on the ground and armed with a handgun.

Officers immediately found cover and ordered Keller to abandon the weapon and surrender to the officers.

These demands occurred multiple times during an encounter exceeding nine minutes in duration.

Keller repeatedly refused to drop the weapon, threatened to shoot officers and bystanders, and pointed the gun at officers.

Keller then left her original position and approached the officers while armed.

When Keller approached closely enough that officers' cover was ineffective, She again refused to drop the weapon.

Officers fired at Keller and she fell to the ground.

Officers provided immediate assistance and summoned the ambulance crew from the staging area to the seen of the shooting.

A small semi-automatic handgun was found beside Keller. Another weapon was found in the vicinity of Keller's position.

Keller was transported by air ambulance to a Louisville hospital. Based on reports from medical personnel, Keller remains hospitalized and is being treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Two officers who discharged weapons at the scene have been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an incident investigation.

Additional details will be released upon conclusion of the investigation.

A report will be filed with the Lawrence County Prosecutor's Office to determine if criminal charges should be filed against Keller for pointing a firearm at the officers.

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