Man With Gun Killed in Kentucky Drug Raid

[Editor's Note: This year, Drug War Chronicle is trying to track every death directly attributable to domestic drug law enforcement during the year. We can use your help. If you come across a news account of a killing related to drug law enforcement, please send us an email at [email protected].]

[Editor's Note: After we published this article, we were contacted by a woman identifying herself as the sister of the victim. See her comments at the end of the article.]

police training in Kentucky
A Jeffersonville, Kentucky, man was shot and killed in his home by undercover police during a drug raid Thursday. Terry Pruitt, 45, becomes the 33rd person to be killed in US domestic drug law enforcement operations so far this year.

According to police, members of the Buffalo Trace Narcotics Task Force were conducting a drug bust in the home when Pruitt pulled a gun and a member of the unit shot and killed him. In another version of events, police said Pruitt shot at an officer before the officer returned fire.

But a Kentucky State Police spokesman told WKYT-TV only that Pruitt had pointed a weapon at police. "The individual inside the residence took an offensive posture and pointed a gun at one of the officers and then the officer reciprocated," said Trooper Endre Samu. Samu said that Pruitt had been hiding under a bed, then got up and threatened one of the undercover agents.

The raid took place shortly before 5:00pm. There is no indication whether officers had announced their presence or if the raid was a "no-knock" raid.

Pruitt's girlfriend, Laura Johnson, 52, who lived in the house with him was detained at the scene and later charged with an unspecified drug trafficking offense. She was being held at the Montgomery County Jail.

Neighbor Angela Martin said she was "in shock" over the killing. "I'm still kind of in shock over it because he didn't seem like the type to be involved in that.  He was a great neighbor.  He came over and mowed my grass when my mower was down.  He was real friendly, real clean-cut guy, real neighborly," Martin said. "It's a horrible story that ended bad, and I just hate seeing something like this happen. That's somebody's son, somebody's father, somebody's grandson, you know, and it's just a horrible way for him to go out," said Martin.

The killing will be investigated by the Kentucky State Police.

In an email to Drug War Chronicle, a woman describing herself as Pruitt's sister, Barbara Seebach questioned the police version of events."His girlfriend says he was in bed asleep, and I believe her," she wrote. "I know he wouldn't fit under the bed, and if he was raising up from the side, why couldn't they have grabbed him before he got up? It doesn't make any sense, and I think someone needs to sit down with the family and tell the truth."

In a second email, Seebach described what led to the bust. "I know that Laura was charged with trafficking four pills," she wrote. "She sold four pills to someone she thought was a friend, and the next thing you know the cops were at her door. So, is that a set-up, or what?"


Jeffersonville, KY
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Shooter should have taken more of the cops out. They get to raid our homes with militarized weapons I say give the ma fight

Dying for what?

Even if planning to serve a warrant, why does it always have to be so chaotic and enclosed. We are talking about trained forces here right? There is supposed to be preparation for these, unless urgent circumstances doesn't give way to any, and then we're talking a house, a common dwelling. How much would it take to figure out who's in the house and the routine of it. Why can't they take the suspect down outside the home, at an opportune time, and give a chance to cool the situation down should there be other persons inside and then a calm and peaceful surrender can take place.

Why not? Who are we kidding here? The dope will still be there waiting for them when everyone is settled down. Why does someone have to die serving a warrant on a house? How big of an operation can it really be to warrant that especially with the training these forces are supposed to have? Unless we're talking about something like a meth lab but then if they suspected that, I don't think they'd really want to be storming it but if they had to, we're talking a whole different breed of criminal so...

The point is, there's no need for these alarmingly startling "No Knock" warrants that would make anybody jump in an manner that can be interpreted as offensive.


Just the way I see it.

Prohibition Kills

Thirty-three people killed so far in drug raids this year, more than killed by use of illicit drugs. Why do we read about people killed in drug raids but hardly ever read about anyone dying from use of drugs. That's because prohibition is more deadly than the drugs prohibition purports to prevent use of (but abjectly fails to do).

Prohibition kills. Every politician who has enabled the war on drugs has blood on their hands. It's easier for kids to obtain illicit drugs than it is for them to obtain alcohol and cigarettes precisely because of prohibition, not in spite of it. 

Another state sponsered murder.

Notice the cop was undercover so, he wasn't in uniform or displaying a badge. He was just an intruder into this man's home?

Again we have a guy here whom probably lowered his weapon after the cop identified himself. Then got shot or he drew down on the cop and just didn't have the intention to kill.

It just amazes me how time after time these cops are facing down drawn & loaded guns and never even being fired on. That makes me think they are shooting people after they lower their weapons. We know they jump in front of fleeing autos and claim assault. Why wouldn't they use that situation in your bedroom?

This scenario plays over & over. This just tells me that, if anyone forces their way into my house I need to shoot to kill even if, I determine they are LE. Because, if I don't start shooting I'm going to be shot just because, I have a gun for protection and it's a free shot for them.

Eventually the american people are going to wise up to this game and that is what's going to start happening all over this country. When cops start dying in a fair fight they will consider changing their tactics.

Man Killed in Raid

Well,the way I see it is that if this idiot was stupid enough to point a loaded firearm at the cops especially during a raid then he got exactly what he deserved plain and simple

Who are you to say who

Who are you to say who deserves to die? You are an adshole. I knew this man very well and his girlfriend. Police have no right to bust in someones house unannounced. He has a right to try to defend him and her. MKnow what you are talking about because the only idiot here is you.

drug cowboys

These cops are just fulfilling their fantasies of being cowboys in the wild west.

George Bush style. They don't give a damn if their target is a family man with no violent history.

Shoot first & ask questions later.

Just an observation from Canada.

Our valuable marijuana is traded to the U.S.A. for guns & cocaine.

It's like trading peace for war & misery.

Stop your expensive drug war .

Marijuana prohibition laws are based on one of the biggest lies in the course of mankind.

Free Marc Emery from political persecution and quit whining about other nations such as China for doing the same thing.


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