Louisville Police Chief Stands By Cops Who Fatally Shot Knife-Wielding Teen

While the Louisville police officers involved in the fatal shooting of a knife-wielding teen are still officially under investigation, the department’s chief is firmly standing behind their actions.

Detective John White and Sgt. Jason Poston were in front of Bader’s Food Mart in downtown Louisville late Wednesday night when 18-year-old Tyler Dattilo verbally accosted them. Moments later, the teen pulled a knife and the officers opened fire. Both officers have been suspended, but Louisville Police Chief Steve Conrad said they didn’t have “any other option.”

“In this situation, I do not believe these officers had any other option than to use deadly force,” said Conrad.

Surveillance footage shows Datillo lunge towards the officers. White and Poston backpedaled and drew their weapons. They fired an undisclosed number of rounds and Datillo was fatally struck.

“The officers drew their weapons, backed away quickly and gave commands for the man to stop,” said Conrad.

The officer-invovled shooting has left locals divided. Some feel the officers were justified, while others believe they should have first used less-than-lethal force.

“They didn’t have to kill the guy,” said James Oliver of Louisville. “There was no reason for that. They could, they could’ve used Tasers, whatever.”

The 21-foot rule says that a person can close the distance of 21 feet before the target can recognize the threat, draw their weapon, and score a hit.

Datillo was armed with a knife and was quickly closing the gap of just a few feet. If the officers had attempted to reholster their sidearms and draw their Tasers, it’s statistically probable that Datillo would have come out on top.

“It’s sad, it really is sad that, you know, young people would take a knife and threaten somebody,” said Christopher Huber, a frequenter of Bader’s Food Mart. “I don’t know why they would necessarily do that.”

Chief Conrad said the investigation into the shooting is still underway.

‘We absolutely do not want to take a person’s life,” said Conrad. “It is a tough thing that officers sometimes have to do, but it is not something that we take lightly.”

(This article was a submission by freelance writer Brent Rogers)

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Roy June 8, 2018, 9:38 am

    It is sad to me that people make comments who have no clue as to how violent encounters occur. They judge police without ever having encountered or survived such an attack. Split seconds matter and the officers reacted IAW their training which likely saved them from being injured or worse. America and the media must stop inflaming these type situations and report and address these matters properly. What happened to respect for law enforcement? These men and women place themselves in harms way every day and yet have as much to fear from public opinion and the courts as they do from the criminals. This must stop. We have created a society where anyone can judge and the media sadly dramatizes it and creates division between races in our country for the sake of selling newspapers. Sadly I feel in general they have lost their integrity. Lastly, the nonsense we hear from the families of these types of victims tell the story as to what is wrong, how their little boy was such a good boy and didn’t deserve such treatment. Despite the fact that they were armed and threatened innocent people should be ignored. I remember one mother stating how could her boy have the things he needed if he didn’t rob for it – wow.

  • Frank Romo March 24, 2017, 1:22 pm

    These officers are put in harms way the moment they step out of the station, they’re on condition “yellow”. Anyone whoe crosses their threshold of personal space with a weapon is due a dose of lethal force, plain and simple, this idiot was given a chance to drop his weapon and chose not to, too bad, he paid the price for stupidity.

  • Will Drider August 9, 2015, 7:04 pm

    Anyone who thinks the Officers should have used tazers, OC, Hand to Hand or just shot him in the leg are just dumbasses! The vid shows the BG starts the attack within FOUR FEET of the Officers. I’m glad that P.O.S. will be feeding the worms soon. If the BG would have attacked anyone with less skills then the Officers had, the result would have been worse on BGs targets.

    The “Suspension” better be SOP for the Dept in Officer involved Shootings AND with full pay and benifits.

    All those crytards need a reality check. Two brothers nearly massacre their entire family and the crytards don’t say crap. Kid attacks two cops with a knife and gets shot and the scream unjustified murder by cops. I think I’ll start sending checks to these Departments to cover the cost of ammo used in these cases.

  • Bazza56 August 9, 2015, 3:32 pm

    Good job officers

  • John August 8, 2015, 8:22 pm

    Come on already . This is getting way out of hand. How are police to do their job? These people are criminals. Here’s my suggestion to the people that don’t like how it was handled. They can police society totally unarmed. Let them see ,first hand , what they are dealing with. The only thing that stops a bad guy, is a good guy with a gun.1

  • DRAINO August 8, 2015, 7:49 pm

    At the risk of sounding “Trump-ish”, Good job, Officers! Another moron out of the gene pool! It baffles me that people cry about deadly force being applied appropriately….this is the second article/situation in a very short period of time where people are crying foul that an armed assailant was taken down with deadly force….crying, “why did they have to shoot them?” …”could have given them a second chance”….blah blah blah. And again I say, cry me a river!!! What country are these people living in? Certainly not the America that I grew up in, where people have the right to protect themselves from idiots that would seek to do them harm, especially those serving and protecting the public. You have moron cops like the one in CA that drew his weapon on a guy that was standing in his own front yard because he had a camera out filming the cop that had been driving by repeatedly. Since this was filmed, all will come out and the courts will rule, but in my book, these cops reacted justifiably, and even correctly. Tax payers won’t have to pay to feed this lawbreaker for the rest of his life. Thanks Fellows! You got it right in my book!!

Leave a Comment

Send this to a friend