The Pulaski County Grand Jury will hear the case of a man accused of shooting at law enforcement last May during a day-long standoff at his Eubank home.
Charles John Wilson, 51, was scheduled for a preliminary hearing in Pulaski District Court on Wednesday — where it was determined that there is probable cause to send the case on for grand jury consideration of multiple felony counts spread over two cases.
According to Kentucky State Police and Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office, the incident began at approximately 8:58 a.m. May 18 and kept officers on scene at Wilson’s Smith Ridge Spur home until about 9 p.m.
Trooper Scottie Pennington, Public Affairs Officer for KSP Post 11 in London, reported that the investigation began when the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) responded to the shooting of a local man. KSP told the Commonwealth Journal that preliminary investigation revealed that the initial victim had brought a dog to Wilson’s house, trying to determine if it was Wilson’s and had gotten lost. In response, Wilson shot through the door, with the gunfire hitting the other man in the face. He was treated for non-life threatening injuries.
According to PCSO, deputies first responded to Puncheon Creek Road to investigate the gunshot wound. The victim, identified only as a 68-year-old male, advised deputies that the person who shot him lived on Smith Ridge Spur Road. The victim was taken to the Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital, according to the sheriff’s office, and later transferred to the University of Kentucky Hospital for treatment of his injuries.
PCSO arrived at Wilson’s mobile home just after 9:30 a.m. that morning and established a perimeter around it. Deputies immediately attempted to contact the suspect with the loudspeaker on their vehicles, but the suspect would not respond to their requests to come out.
Instead, according to PCSO, the suspect fired several shots with what appeared to be a small-caliber gun while he was concealed inside the mobile home.
According to Trp. Pennington, PCSO requested assistance from KSP shortly before 10:45 a.m. Post 11 then dispatched its Special Response Team to the scene.
All efforts to get the suspect to surrender — including deputies allowing Wilson’s family members to try to talk him using loudspeakers — failed to get a response from him over the course of the 8.5-hour stand off. According to PCSO, he continued to fire at random intervals at members of the Sheriff’s Office and Kentucky State Police — at one point shattering the passenger side window of PCSO Sergeant Cary York’s vehicle.
The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office also used tear gas as a less-lethal means to try to get Wilson to come out but reported the gas had seemed not to affect him.
At 3:46 p.m., Sheriff Speck turned over the scene to KSP’s Special Response Team — which has an armored vehicle that would make it safer to approach the mobile home. During their attempts to get a peaceful surrender, Wilson again brandished a firearm and was then shot by the Special Response Team and removed from the trailer.
Somerset-Pulaski County EMS, which had had an ambulance stationed nearby since the standoff began, transported Wilson first to Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital (LCRH) then on to the UK with life-threatening injuries.
A search warrant was obtained and executed on the residence, according to PCSO. Located during the search of the mobile home was a .270 large caliber rifle with scope, a .22 caliber rifle and a .380 handgun. Several spent shell cases were located inside the residence as well as live rounds.
Detective Sergeant Cody Cundiff with the Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division is investigating the initial shooting and firing at deputies. In that case, Wilson has been charged with Attempted Murder and two counts of first-degree Wanton Endangerment of a Police Officer.
KSP Post 11 and the Critical Incident Response Team are leading the ongoing investigation into the stand off and have charged Wilson with five counts of first-degree Wanton Endangerment of a Police Officer.
Wilson remained hospitalized for just over a month and was arrested June 23 upon his release from UK. During his arraignment the following day, he pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Originally lodged in the Pulaski County Detention Center in lieu of a $250,000 cash/property bond, District Judge Scott Lawless ruled Wednesday that Wilson’s bond could be reduced to $25,000 cash or property.
At press time, Wilson remained lodged at PCDC.