Editor's Note: The names of two individuals were removed from this article on Tuesday, March 9 at 7:26 a.m. because they are juveniles. This article was also updated on Friday, March 12 at 2:24 p.m. to add additional information from a witness at the Brick Alley and the FPD.
Two Frankfort High School students were hoping to relax and get in a couple hours of studying at the Kentucky Coffeetree Cafe on Monday for their state-mandated college prep test the next day.
“We were just trying to come here and have a relaxing study session and get some tea right before we have to take the ACT tomorrow,” one student said.
But before they got out of their car, a scene broke out.
“As soon as we pull up, there's gunshots.”
Deputies from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and patrol cars from the Frankfort Police Department arrived on Broadway shortly after the shots were reported just before 8:00 p.m. An officer on the scene said that he was already in the area for a previous call when the shots rang out.
Assistant Chief Lynn Aubrey said that FPD believes the group of at least two individuals left the Brick Alley bar on St. Clair Street, which the State Journal later confirmed with the bartender working that night.
A witness at the Brick Alley said that the bartender cut off the man who ended up firing the shots from ordering more alcohol for being too intoxicated. Then the man threw a bottle at the bartender and showed him his pistol. The witness said the bartender then called the police, which caused the man to flee the Brick Alley.
According to a witness on Broadway, the shooter was a man of at least average height with long hair tied back into a ponytail. He shot at least five rounds from a pistol into the air from outside an SUV before leaping into passenger side the vehicle. The SUV then backed into the car parked behind it before speeding west toward Wilkinson Boulevard, causing minor damage to the car’s front fender.
Aubrey added that FPD has identified the shooter, but is waiting on video from the Brick Alley to take out charges.
The other FHS student said that they were parked nearby on Broadway and about to exit their car when they heard the first shot and saw at least two men enter the SUV.
“We started hearing the gunshots, then we looked over and there was a big black SUV,” the student said. “Two guys came running across the railroad tracks, and then one guy shot his gun into the air. It seemed like they were drunk or something because they got back into their car really fast.”
They added that they were fairly certain the shots weren’t intended to harm anyone.
“I didn't see them shoot anybody,” the student said. “I think that they were just drunk, stupid and not acting right. It didn't seem like they were really trying to shoot anyone.”
Aubrey said that the men responsible will be charged with wanton endangerment and a hit and run.