HPD Officer's Name Released in Deadly Weekend Shooting

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Huntington’s Police Chief has released the name of the officer involved in a deadly shooting early Saturday morning.

Officer Ronnie Lusk, a 10-year-veteran of the force, remains on paid administrative leave after the fatal shooting of Robert Henderson of Michigan.

The shooting happened about 1:30 a.m. inside El Ranchito Mexican Bar and Grill in the 2000 block of 3rd Avenue.

Police say it was the second call they had received about someone brandishing a gun in the area.

When police entered the restaurant, they say several people were arguing.

Police say Henderson was irate and waving his gun around. They repeatedly asked him to stay still and keep his arms raised.

When Henderson turned toward officers, police say the officer was in danger of being shot, so he fired at Henderson.

There were about 15 people in the restaurant at the time.

An internal investigation is underway, and findings will be turned over to outside investigators.

Police say Henderson is originally from Michigan and has ties to Detroit. He was wanted in Michigan for carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.

Henderson also had a criminal history in Huntington. In May, Henderson was shot several times outside a pizza restaurant in the 12-hundred block of 4th Avenue. Police say Henderson refused to cooperate with officers by telling them who shot him.

Chief Jim Johnson confirms this is the third time Lusk has been involved in a shooting.

The two previous incidents happened in January 2011 along Washington Avenue, and in November 2009 at Club Babylon in downtown Huntington.

Joe Porter died in the shooting at Club Babylon.

Former HPD Chief Skip Holbrook tells WSAZ.com that by nature of his specialty, Lusk is frequently a first responder and acted in self-defense.

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