Family of man killed by Kentucky troopers files wrongful death lawsuit

Published 12:09 pm Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Family members of a man killed by police have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against two Kentucky State Police troopers involved in the shooting.

The lawsuit alleges the troopers deprived Gary Bressler, 48, of Williamstown of his constitutional rights, used excessive force and inflicted emotional distress on his family, the Kentucky Enquirer reported, citing a complaint filed last week in federal court in Covington.

Bressler’s family said in the complaint that he was depressed when he called police and then took a decorative samurai sword and walked out to the front yard last November.

“He was not threatening anyone verbally nor with the sword,” the lawsuit states. “He was holding it with his arm extended and the tip of the sword an inch or so from the ground.”

After Bressler did not comply with a second command from police to drop the sword, and the troopers fired at him, the lawsuit states.

Police have identified the troopers involved as Zachary Lusk and Douglas Holt, according to the newspaper, which reported that attorney information for both was unavailable.

The complaint says state police are still investigating the shooting. Grant County Commonwealth’s Attorney Leigh Ann Roberts declined to comment on whether her office has received the police report citing an ongoing investigation.