LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — An off-duty Lexington police officer said in a news conference Tuesday she “didn’t do anything special” when she sprung into action minutes after gunfire erupted at a deadly shooting inside Fayette Mall Sunday.
“Any police officer, or anybody, would have done that,” Sgt. Stacy Shannon said. “I just happened to be standing next to (a camera).”
A photo went viral Sunday evening that showed Shannon, wearing blue jeans, flip flops and a police vest, helping to escort shoppers fleeing the chaos as they evacuated the mall after the shooting.
“I know it’s not appropriate police attire,” Lexington police Chief Lawrence Weathers said. “But I’m not worried about that. I’m worried about protecting our community.”
Shannon said she had just finished lunch at Olive Garden in the Fayette Mall area with a retired police friend when she saw two police cruisers blaring toward the mall.
Although details were sparse at the time, Shannon confirmed with her supervisor Lt. Chris VanBrackel that a shooting had occurred at the mall. She then grabbed her firearm, badge and handcuffs, and took off running toward the parking lot.
“Well I have to go, sir,” she told the lieutenant. “Because there’s not a lot of officers there.”
Once on-scene Shannon said she borrowed an extra tactical vest from a police cruiser to make sure she was identifiable as an officer.
“You see people in your community – you see kids, adults, all ages and sizes running out in chaos and you have to help,” Shannon said.
She added that there wasn’t much going through her mind at the time other than trying to help people in need.
“I was just trying to get there and do what I can to help,” Shannon said. “That’s really all I was thinking.”