Lexington cop who shot suspect is 3-year veteran of the department, state police say

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Kentucky State Police have released the name of the Lexington officer who shot a suspect after allegedly being fired at.

Franklin Epley, who has been with the Lexington Police Department three years, was identified as the officer who shot 21-year-old Ryan Jones on Saturday. The shooting allegedly happened after police received multiple calls about a man firing a gun outside a residence. Jones allegedly shot at Epley once he arrived on scene, police said.

Epley fired back and shot Jones, which caused a serious but non-life-threatening injury to his shoulder, police said. Jones was taken to a hospital and then booked at the Fayette County Detention Center after receiving treatment.

State police said they had to finish interviewing vital witnesses and officers prior to releasing the officer’s name.

In the lead-up to the shooting, Jones allegedly forced his way into a home on Marshall Lane and fired a handgun at the people inside, according to his arrest citation. He is also accused of restraining multiple adults and children to use them as “hostages,” according to the citation.

Jones’ mother later told local NBC affiliate LEX18 that her son has a history of mental illness and he was breaking into his sister’s home when the altercation occurred. She had been concerned about him owning a gun.

Jones is charged with first-degree burglary, four counts of kidnapping a minor, five counts of kidnapping an adult and nine counts of wanton endangerment. Additional charges against him are pending, state police said.

Jones was still being held in the Fayette County Detention Center as of Thursday evening. He was supposed to be arraigned earlier this week, but the hearing was delayed because he was in isolation at the jail due to COVID-19 restrictions. His next court appearance was scheduled for Monday.

Epley was placed on administrative assignment while the Kentucky State Police Critical Incident Response Team investigates the shooting, police said.

State police haven’t yet released bodycam footage of the shooting, but Lexington police said Epley’s bodycam was on, and state police said footage had been provided to the agency’s investigators.

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