Chris McClure shooting death lawsuit against Fulton Officer James Buck Buckingham. Did a Fulton police officer use excessive police force against a suspect?
Kentucky authorities have released bodycam footage of the moment a police officer fatally shot a suspect armed with a metal pole and knife. A shooting which has since led to the victim’s family claiming that the shooting was unjustified.
Video obtained by WDRB shows the moment a Fulton police officer fired two shots into the body of 43-year-old Chris McClure, who police said had been swinging a metal pole with a knife attached to it while smashing windows of several parked cars in January 2017. McClure’s attorney, Larry Forman, said the father of three struggled with mental issues and was upset that he hadn’t been able to see his children at the time.
Video shows Officer James “Buck” Buckingham responding to the scene and opening fire on McClure almost instantly after getting out of his police cruiser, at which point the metal pole with attached knife can be heard loudly falling to the ground away from McClure.
From there, Buckingham twice orders McClure to ‘get down’ before the debilitated suspect attempts to sit up, prompting Buckingham to shoot him a second time.
Chris McClure shooting death: Point blank execution?
McClure’s relatives are now suing the officer, the city of Fulton and Kentucky State Police, which oversaw an investigation into the shooting.
Told the family’s lawyer, ‘I think the brunt of the lawsuit really stems from the fact that after Chris is on the ground, ‘Buck’ comes up to him, and from point-blank range, without any justification, no reason whatsoever, fires an execution shot’.
Forman called the footage ‘appalling’ while claiming Buckingham responded with unnecessary lethal force.
Witnesses of the police-involved shooting told WPSD that they saw a man in downtown Fulton wildly swinging a pole along East State Line Street on Jan. 16, 2017.
‘He was very menacing towards the cars,’ witness Allie Craft said. ‘Very aggressive-looking, like he was finding one to go after. You could tell he wasn’t quite right.’
Kentucky State Police Lt. Kyle Nall claims McClure smashing the windows of five cars, including two police cruisers, before the deadly confrontation.
‘He drew back with the pole,’ another witness, Peter Toon told. ‘I could hear the officer ask him to stop and as he came forward he seemed to pull the trigger.’
At no point in the above video did it appear that the life of Buckingham or any other officer or individual in the periphery was ever in danger.
WPSD cited Thomas Pottorff, the victim’s neighbor saying McClure had been depressed and acting out since a recent break up.
An autopsy found McClure, who later passed away at a hospital, dying from two gunshots wounds to the torso. To date, Officer Buckingham has faced no sanctions or been exposed to a criminal investigation.