Footage from police body cameras recently captured a Louisville Metro Police officer shooting an unarmed man without provocation. Immediately after ordering the suspect to show his hands, the officer fired a bullet into the unarmed man’s abdomen before he could even comply with her orders.
On Wednesday morning, LMPD officers Sarah Stumler, Aaron Seneker, and Braden Lammers responded to a 911 call reporting a man abusing drugs near an abandoned house. When the officers arrived, a neighbor informed them that the suspect had entered a vacant home next door.
According to recently released footage from the officers’ body cameras, three cops entered the abandoned residence and spent nearly three minutes checking each room with their guns drawn while announcing their presence inside the house. Believing they had cleared the vacant home, the officers began to exit the building when Stumler suddenly noticed 38-year-old Bruce Warrick leaning motionless against a wall and hiding behind a mattress.
“Show your hands!” Stumler shouted at Warrick before abruptly shooting him in the abdomen without giving him a chance to comply.
“Shit!” Stumler immediately exclaimed after firing her gun.
Warrick remained leaning against the wall, clutching his bleeding stomach, as the mattress fell to the floor. The video ended with the officers cuffing Warrick’s hands behind his back as he collapsed to the ground, moaning in pain.
According to police, Warrick had been unarmed and no weapons were located inside the abandoned house. Transported to the intensive care unit at University of Louisville Hospital, Warrick remains in critical condition and underwent surgery on Thursday to remove organs. Not currently facing criminal charges, Warrick is on a ventilator and scheduled for further surgeries.
On Thursday, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer released a statement saying, “In the wake of yesterday’s shooting, I ask for the community to join me in prayer and compassion for Mr. Bruce Warrick and Officer Sarah Stumler and their families. Chief Conrad and I are committed to a thorough investigation into the circumstances, and a fully transparent process, which started with releasing the body camera video a day after the incident. I urge patience as we undertake a thorough investigation – for Mr. Warrick, Officer Stumler, and for our entire community.”
Placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into the shooting, Stumler has received two disciplinary actions prior to this incident. In one case on June 30, 2011, Mayor Fischer reportedly reprimanded Stumler for failing to appear in court for a pretrial conference.
After viewing the police body cam videos on Thursday, Warrick’s family asserted that Bruce Warrick clearly did not pose any threat to himself or the officers. Suffering from a history of drug abuse, Warrick was a June 2015 graduate of the Jefferson County Drug Court.
Judge Stephanie Pearce Burke, who oversees the program, recently told WLKY, “As a graduate of our program, Bruce was a generous and positive influence on others and he worked hard to achieve success in his own recovery. Our thoughts and prayers are with Bruce and everyone involved.”