Student describes shooting as robbery gone wrong

The University Trails apartments are about one mile from campus on Red Mile Road. David Stevens, a UK student, was shot Tuesday in his apartment.

The bullet is still in his leg, but the UK student shot Tuesday said he is recovering well.

David Stephens is now able to walk, at least for short periods of time, but the past few days have not been easy.

Related: UK student shot in apartment at University Trails

Tuesday started like any other day. Stephens said he woke up late, at about 1:30 p.m., and was expecting a female friend to come to his apartment at University Trails.

Two men showed up instead, but Stephens knew one of them and invited them both to come inside and play a sports video game franchise. Both men were dressed completely in black. The man Stephens did not know wore a large jacket and kept his hood up after coming inside.

After a few minutes of talking, Stephens got up and went to his room. When he came out, the man who Stephens did not know jumped up and pulled out a .22 caliber pistol.

“You know what this is,” the armed man said, ordering Stephens and his two friends who were also in the apartment to give him everything they had.

The armed man ordered the other man to take Stephens to his room and collect things to rob. When they got to Stephens’ room, the man who Stephens knew told him to jump out of the window and flee.

But fearing for the lives of his friends, who were still held at gunpoint in the living room, Stephens refused.

When Stephens came out of his room, he charged and tackled the man with the gun, but in the process was shot in the abdomen. The bullet bounced off his hip bone and went into his leg.

When the shot rang out, everybody ran. The men left with two cell phones, a set of headphones and $1.

Stephens called the police himself and was taken to UK Chandler Hospital for treatment. A medical team arrived within five minutes, according to the Lexington Fire Department, but the ambulance that drove him to the hospital took 12 minutes to arrive.

Stephens requested the Kernel not report his current location.

“It was all over nonsense,” Stephens said. “I don’t know why they chose my house.”

Police had made no arrests as of Friday.

Stephens, a kinesiology senior,  was friends with Jonathan Krueger, a UK student and Kernel photo editor who was shot and killed on East Maxwell Street in April. Krueger was shot during an attempted robbery while walking home in the early morning, according to police.

Stephens said he was surprised UK did not send out a UK Alert, which notifies students when there is a potential danger on or close to campus. Stephens also said he hopes University Trails puts gates around the apartment complex.

“Anybody could have been in danger,” Stephens said. “When I got those (alerts) to my phone … I knew to stay away from that area.”

UK Police Chief Joe Monroe said UK does not send out alerts for the apartments on Red Mile Road because the area is too far from campus to warrant an immediate threat.

UK used to lease apartments with University Trails, but that contract is no longer in effect. Monroe said the university has not leased apartments in that area since August.

If the shooting were to have happened a year ago, Monroe said UK Police would have informed students through an alert.

University Trails apartments are about one mile from campus.

Stephens plays for the UK Rugby Football Club, and said he will continue to play when his health improves.

“After I recover I’ll be right back there on the field,” Stephens said.

From Covington, Stephens went to high school at Simon Kenton High School in Independence, Ky.

Jacob Michael Kidd-Bush, a chemical engineering senior who went to Simon Kenton with Stephens and also plays on the rugby team, said he and Stephens have been friends since high school.

“We kind of just got reconnected this past year,” Kidd-Bush said. “He’s a really great guy.”