Man shot in Forest Hills in sixth shooting this month

Paducah Police officers search for evidence and take a witness statement Thursday afternoon following the sixth shooting in McCracken County — the fourth in Paducah — thus far this month.

A 28-year-old man was shot to death Thursday at the Forest Hills Apartments complex at the intersection of Elmdale Road and Jameswood Drive near St. Mary schools.

Paducah Police identified the man as Thomas Willet.

He is the fifth shooting victim in six incidents in the first 10 days of the month in McCracken County, with four of those shootings in Paducah.

Paducah Police Chief Brian Laird said the latest shooting happened about 3 p.m. on Elmdale Road.

“While officers were responding, we received reports of one individual shot,” he said Thursday afternoon. “That individual was transported to the hospital.”

Willett was pronounced dead in the hospital at 4:15 p.m. Thursday, according to a police news release sent late Thursday evening.

“There was a vehicle description that was given out, and officers came in from different directions here in Forest Hills,” he said. “We did stop a vehicle that was associated with the incident over on Old Mayfield Road. (The road) was very briefly closed down to resolve that.”

Shootings that have been reported in the city this month include:

• June 4, 9:03 p.m., Willow Oaks Apartments (Roell Circle), two victims, one flown to an out-of-state hospital.

• June 5, 3 a.m., Cardinal Point Apartments (Joe Clifton Drive), property damage only.

• June 8, 10 p.m., Jetton Schoolhouse Apartments (Walter Jetton Boulevard), property damage only, two injured in accident caused by the shooting.

• June 10, 3 p.m., Forest Hills Apartments, one victim.

Shootings investigated in McCracken County outside the city limit this month include:

• June 1, 7:47 p.m., Olivet Church Road, property damage only.

• June 8, 11:30 p.m., Colony Drive, two victims, one of them a fatality; suspect arrested in the case.

“We’ll be putting out a release (this morning) on one of the shootings; we’ve got some resolution to that,” Laird said Thursday afternoon. “That one is linked to another one.”

Asked why there seemed to be a large number of shootings in Paducah and McCracken County, Laird said it is not necessarily a local phenomenon.

“It’s summertime; crime typically goes up and violence typically goes up in the summertime,” he said. “I think one of the things that we’re seeing, too — across the nation — you’ve seen an increase in violent crime.

“I don’t think, necessarily, that Paducah is immune to those things as well. That’s very unfortunate: People now tend to resolve their disputes with weapons instead of trying to either talk it out, yell it out or fight it out. We don’t throw punches anymore; we just shoot.”

Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to call the Paducah Police Department at 270-444-8550. Information can also be provided anonymously through West Kentucky Crime Stoppers by texting WKY and the tip to 847411 (TIP-411).

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