Vine Street Shooting Follow

By: Tamara Evans
By: Tamara Evans

David Whitson was one of three officers answering a call about "a man with a knife" at 1036 Vine Street around 10:30 Tuesday morning.

The officers encountered Rojelio Gonzalez Pacheco armed with two knives.

Police say Gonzalez pacheco attacked Officer Whitson.

KSP says officers used deadly force to protect Officer Whitson.

Both Pacheco and Officer Whitson were taken to the Medical Center.

They both died from gunshot wounds.

WBKO learned today that Pacheco was not of legal status in the United States.

Autopsies for both men were performed this morning in Louisville.

Warren County coroner Kevin Kirby says the preliminary autopsies show Pacheco was shot in the lower stomach area and Whitson was shot in the thorax, which is the chest cavity.

This tragic incident has been hard on both the police department and the community.

This was the first time an officer from Bowling Green was killed in the line of duty.

Earlier today we sat down with former Police Chief Bill Waltrip to find out just what the department is dealing with right now and the type of man David Whitson was.

A police cruiser sits outside the Bowling Green Police Department draped in black in memory of Master Police Officer David Whitson.

Whitson was hired as an officer with the Bowling Green Police Department in January of 1998.

Bill Waltrip was one of the chiefs he worked for at the Department.

"David was just about the same all the time. Very jovial, would always have something to say, had a great personality, just very nice to be around", says Waltrip.

Whitson had several nicknames within the department.

Friends and officers liked to call this 8-year-veteran "Red" for his red hair, or "Slim" since they say he loved to eat.

These nicknames don't describe however how important being an officer was to this Portland, Tennessee native.

"Very dedicated, very responsible, going back to his personality...he treated people well. he just did a great job", says Waltrip.

The incident is not only a loss for the department but for the community as well.

"Everything hasn't set in yet. There will be alot of different emotions over the next days and weeks, but it's not only difficult for the police family, but for the city employees, the community. It's just a tragedy on many levels", says Waltrip.

The two other officers who were on the scene of the incident, Officer Beldon Perry and Erik Woodward have been placed on administrative leave as part of the police department's policy.

Evidence from both Whitson and Pacheco's autopsy has been sent to a crime lab for analysis.

WBKO 2727 Russellville Road Bowling Green, KY 42101-3976 Phone: 270-781-1313 After Hours Hotline: 270-781-6397 Fax: 270-781-1814
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