Man Arrested After Accidental Shooting at Mall
By West Kentucky Star Staff
PADUCAH, KY - A McCracken County man was arrested Tuesday night in the parking lot of Kentucky Oaks Mall after police say he accidentally shot himself in the leg.

Paducah Police were called to the scene about 7:30 pm, and officers found 35-year-old Brent W. Dixon in a car with a gunshot wound to his left leg. He was taken to Lourdes Hospital for treatment.

During an interview at the hospital, police say Dixon admitted he had grabbed the gun from another person and accidentally shot himself. He said the other person took the gun and fled.

After his release from the hospital, Dixon was arrested on outstanding warrants charging him with failing to appear in court and booked into McCracken County Regional Jail.

After a detective confirmed that Dixon had previously been convicted of felony drug charges, he was charged Wednesday with being a convicted felon in possession of a handgun.

The shooting caused a great deal of concern Tuesday night and was widely discussed on social media, with mostly incorrect information being shared.

The Paducah Police Department asked the media to share this information regarding their policies and procedures in a society saturated with social media:

When arriving at a scene like the one on Tuesday night, officers’ first priority is to secure the scene, care for the injured and locate the suspect. The safety of the public is foremost in their minds. 

Crime scenes often are very chaotic, and it can take a while to separate fact from fiction. As a result, it may be an hour or more before the police department can make an official release of information to the media and the public.

Social media posts of rumors and incorrect information can cause fear and panic, and can actually hinder police in their investigation. Police learned that information about an alleged “active shooter” in the mall was provided by people who were not in  the police department, and officers at the scene were unaware of the rumor. If they had known, it would have been immediately addressed with store employees and those who spread incorrect information.

The police department promises to disseminate as much factual information as possible, as quickly as possible. But, they also ask the public to be very cautious and responsible about what is shared on social media.

Published 03:50 PM, Wednesday Feb. 07, 2018
Updated 05:46 AM, Wednesday Feb. 14, 2018

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