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Prosecutor for Commonwealth’s Attorney says office seeing uptick in domestic violence shootings

By Gladys Bautista

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    LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (WLKY) — As gun violence continues to surge in the Louisville Metro, the rise in domestic violence-related shootings is coming as no surprise to those within the special victims unit in the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office.

“Gun violence, it’s not just happening out on the street, it’s happening in our homes,” Christie Foster said.

Christie Foster heads up the special victim’s unit. The unit sees domestic violence cases and some years, they see more than others. But she said the recent uptick is too sharp to ignore.

“It’s frustrating but I think we’re trying to deal with it as best we can,” Foster said.

Foster explains they began to see the rise after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it was most notable in 2021 when the number of felony domestic violence cases they saw rise by 30%.

“If there are red flags in the history — whether it be previous protective orders or even if there are just misdemeanor offenses — but let’s say they are a series of assault-four domestic violence cases, which on their face to some people may not look serious, but in fact it really is. So our job is to put everything out on the table for the judge to consider in deciding an appropriate bond,” Foster said.

Monday morning, detectives were faced with another shooting linked to domestic violence. A woman was found shot in South Louisville on Southside Drive at New Cut Road.

“Domestic violence relationships often involve cycles where there’s a honeymoon phase and then things turn sour and then there’s yet another honeymoon phase,” Foster said. “Just the nature of those relationships and in of themselves, that can be a challenge.”

That challenge can often lead to victims recanting or deciding not to move forward, according to Foster. That’s when she said their work with LMPD comes in.

“Our goal with LMPD is to put together the best cases that we can to be able to go forward anyway and be able to hold the perpetrators accountable,” Foster said.

LMPD told WLKY domestic violence has accounted for 17% of all of the Metro’s homicides so far this year.

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