Samantha Ramsey, a 19-year-old recent high-school grad, was trying to drive away from a party in late April when she ran over the foot of Boone County, Kentucky Sheriff’s Deputy Tyler Brockman. Within seconds, Brockman jumped on to the hood of her car and blasted four rounds from his service weapon into the car, striking Ramsey at point blank range.
The teen was killed by the barrage of gunfire, though three other passengers in the car, as well as Brockman, escaped as the vehicle crashed into a ditch.
On Thursday, a Kentucky grand jury decided that because Brockman feared for his life, the police shooting was justified and that the deputy will not face charges for gunning down Samantha Ramsey, who taught preschool at Children’s Inc., a child-care center in her hometown of Covington.
Brockman was called to the scene of the outdoor party to investigate reports of underage drinking there. Toxicology reports showed that Ramsey had a blood-alcohol level of 0.12 when she was shot to death.
Brockman attempted to stop Samantha Ramsey as she left the party in her vehicle, but instead she made a left turn and ran over his foot, causing injuries later diagnosed as bruises.
In his account of the police shooting after the incident in the early morning hours of April 26, Brockman — who oddly referred to himself in the third person throughout the statement — said that he jumped onto the hood of Ramsey’s slow-moving vehicle because he believed she was about to kill him by running him down with the car.
“The shots were fired not only to save his life but also the pedestrians walking on the road and the officers currently just down the road initiating other arrests,” Brockman said in his description of the tragic events.
“Deputy Brockman then heard the RPMs of the car begin to rise, felt the wind picking up on his back, and noticed the car was picking up speed. At this point Deputy Brockman knew the operator, Samantha Ramsey, was about to kill him. Deputy Brockman, in reaction to the deadly force brought against him, drew his Glock 22 Service weapon and fired what he believed to be 3 shots (turned out to be 4) through the driver window.”
But according to Bobby Turner, who was in the backseat of the ill-fated vehicle, Ramsey and the other partygoers in the car simply did not notice Brockman as he approached their vehicle.
“We didn’t know the police was talking to us,” Turner recalled. “I just saw him jump on the hood and start shooting.”
A witness who saw the events unfold from across the street, Josh Pitts, said that he couldn’t tell why the deputy jumped on Ramsey’s car.
“As she was trying to make a turn and leave the party, he jumped on the car and pulled his gun out and shot four times through the window and hit the girl,” Pitts recounted.
“While Tyler and his family remain extremely thankful he is alive, his survival came with the heavy burden of doing what he had to do to protect himself and others. He sincerely regrets the loss the Ramsey family has suffered,” said a statement issued by Brockman’s lawyers after a grand jury declined to bring any charges against him.
A lab report also showed that Samantha Ramsey had marijuana in her system and, according to a forensic expert, that might have impaired her judgment as she drove off, leading to the tragedy.