Lt. Brenda Cowan
Photo credit: Official Department Photo
Lt. Brenda Cowan at her promotion ceremony just a week before Friday's tragic shooting.
Photo credit: Department Provided Photo
LEXINGTON, Ky -- A domestic-violence shooting that escalated into a six-hour standoff killed a firefighter, a Lexington woman, and wounded at least three others Friday at a home in rural southern Fayette County.
Police finally arrested Pat Hutchinson, 45, at around 9:45 p.m.
Lexington fire Major Greg Stapleton confirmed the death of Lt. Brenda Cowan, 40, a twelve-year veteran of the department. The other firefighter who was shot, Jim Sandford, was in stable condition Friday night, said Stapleton confirmed. A third firefighter, Mike Souder, suffered an apparent sprain and was treated and released.
Hutchinson is also accused of murdering his wife, Fontaine, 60.
A Lexington police officer also was injured in a car wreck traveling to the scene.
"This is our worst nightmare," said Lexington fire chief Robert Hendricks.
Cowan, was a Union County native and the sister of former UK basketball player Fred Cowan. She was the first African-American female firefighter in Lexington, and had been promoted to Lieutenant on Tuesday.
"She was the top of the line, the best at everything she did," said Hendricks.
During the standoff, neighbor Richard Parson told LEX 18 News that he had spoken by telephone to Hutchinson after the incident began. Parson said Hutchinson told him that he had "blown his wife's brains out." Parson also said Hutchinson is a delusional individual who believes people are clones.
Hutchinson later told the Lexington Herald-Leader that he shot Fontaine and then the paramedics because he was staging a coup against human clones.
"You're about to see armageddon," said Hutchinson, who spoke calmly about a vast conspiracy involving UFOs, alien clones and the CIA.
"I started with my wife," he said. "I shot her in the head. ... She's got a radio sticking in her skull."
The incident began at 3:30 p.m. An LEX 18 News crew arrived at the scene at 8645 Adams Lane near Exit 99 off I-75 as firefighters approached. LEX 18's Angelica St. John says that as the firefighters bent down to a woman lying on the ground in front of a home, shots rang out from the home. Later, the window of a police cruiser was blown out as it approached the house.
Police say six firefighters on two crews initially responded to a domestic violence call. As shots rang out, two were hit by gunfire, and the other four were pinned until police arrived.
Two helicopters landed on the interstate. I-75 South was blocked at the Clays Ferry exit and at Athens-Boonesboro Road, stalling traffic for miles.
- Funeral Plans Set, After Firefighter Dies In Standoff
- WKYT: Firefighter Killed, Several Injured in Standoff (includes video/audio)
- Lexington Division of Fire & Emergency Services
- WKYT: Firefighter Killed In Standoff "One Of The Best"
- Kentucky.com: Cowan Never Head to Prove Herself
- Kentucky.com: An Interview with the Suspect
- Kentucky.com: Firefighter Shot, Killed
- Lexington Herald-Leader: Brenda Cowan Never Had To Prove Herself
- WAVE: Firefighter Killed Responding To Fatal Domestic Dispute
- WVLT: Firefighter Among Two Dead in Lexington, KY Standoff
- WKYT: Kentucky Firefighters Mourn Loss Of One Of Their Own
- WKYT: Funeral Plans Set, After Firefighter Dies In Standoff
- Lexington Herald-Leader: Response Policy Is Questioned
- Lexington Herald-Leader: Chronology of Events
- Lexington Herald-Leader: Victim's Daughters Doubt Man Is Insane
- Lexington Herald-Leader: Response To Erratic Behavior