Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
A Rocky Hill man has been arrested after local law enforcement say he fired shots into the air and pointed a gun at individuals from a company while they were allegedly attempting to repossess his property.
The Edmonson County Sheriff's Office reported that they responded to Rocky Hill Road around 10:15pm on January 9, 2020, for a shots-fired complaint. According to the Sheriff's Office, David Prather (64) of the Rocky Hill Road residence, fired multiple shots into the air when he saw three individuals who he thought was stealing his tractor. According to a press release from the Sheriff's Office, the individuals were representatives of a repossession company, on location to repo the piece of farm equipment Prather believed was being stolen.
The Sheriff's Office reported that in addition to firing several shots into the air, Prather pointed the firearm at one of the individuals.
"It is imperative for any gun owner to know and understand the laws as they pertain to carrying and using firearms," said Sheriff Shane Doyle in the released statement. "While Mr. Prather felt there was a threat against his personal property, it was not within the means of the law for him to use a firearm to protect that property; he could have used physical force to stop what he perceived to be a theft of his personal property, but because he, as a human being, was not in any sort of physical risk of serious injury or death, then deadly force could not be used to just protect his personal property. In addition, when shots are fired into the air, gun users need to be aware that those shots will also come down, thus creating a risk of serious physical harm or death to a potentially unsuspecting individual(s). Furthermore, while a person may not have intent to pull the trigger when pointing a gun at an individual, just the perceived threat creates the potential for serious injury or death, which falls right in line with a wanton endangerment charge."
The Sheriff also referenced KRS 13201, which states: A person is guilty of wanton endangerment in the first degree when, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, he wantonly engages in conduct which creates a substantial danger of death or serious physical injury to another person.
Prather was charged with Wanton Endangerment—1st Degree (attempt), which is a felony. He was arrested on scene and lodged in Hart County Jail.