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Three men charged with shooting Ky. officer ‘cased’ the scene before ambush

A Lexington police detective testified that the men involved in the shooting had exchanged multiple Snapchat messages about the undercover car Detective Nicholas Music was using to conduct surveillance


Officers and detectives with the Lexington Police Department fill the courtroom gallery on March 18, 2024, during a preliminary hearing against three men charged with shooting an officer.

Taylor Six/TNS

By Taylor Six
Lexington Herald-Leader

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Three men charged with shooting a Lexington Police Department officer in an undercover vehicle earlier this year “cased” the car before their ambush, according to testimony Monday.

Daquis Sharp, 27, faces charges of attempted murder of a police officer, second-degree assault (police officer), first-degree criminal mischief and six counts of first-degree wanton endangerment, according to police. Jatiece Parks, 19, and Zalan Dulin, 19, face the same charges in the case.

Lexington police previously said the shooting happened shortly before midnight on Feb. 28 on the 900 block of Royal Avenue. Detectives were following up on an investigation when Sharp, Parks and Dulin opened fire on Detective Nicholas Music inside an unmarked police vehicle. Music is an eight year veteran officer, according to Lexington police.

During a preliminary hearing Monday, Detective Josh Phillips testified about a significant amount of evidence against the three men, including Snapchat messages discussing Music’s undercover car, a black Ford Fusion.

Music was conducting surveillance on Sharp, who was in a home on Royal Avenue, with other detectives because the trio of suspects were suspected to be linked to violent crime in Lexington, according Phillips.

One shot hit Music in the thigh but he did not require hospitalization, according to police. Music was able to return shots and no other injuries were reported.

During the exchange of gunfire, Music took cover with other detectives conducting surveillance “as he was confident (the suspects) were trying to murder him,” Phillips said.

During the investigation, the detectives saw Sharp, Parks and Dulin exit the residence and head towards E. 7th Street.

The detectives lost sight of the three men but heard multiple gunshots and saw muzzle flashes coming from the area where they were last seen.

Surveillance video shows the three men approaching Music’s car and shooting nearly 40 rounds into the police vehicle, Phillips testified. It was previously reported in a federal affidavit that 30 rounds were fired. Surveillance video caught pieces of the shooting, but did not actually show the suspects shooting the weapons, according to Phillips.

He said the defendants were going in and out of the Royal Avenue residence with firearms and “cased” the unmarked car. After the three men were in custody, police executed a search warrant at the residence and found five firearms. Two weapons had extended magazine inserts capable of firing nearly 100 rounds.

Shell casing evidence showed the men began firing and continued to fire while approaching Music’s unmarked car.

Fayette District Judge Denotra Spruill Gunther sent the case to the grand jury without any discussion or argument from the suspects’ attorneys. Bond was not discussed.

Sharp and Parks were connected to a previous Lexington shooting as a result of the investigation. Sharp was charged at the federal level with a count of possession of a firearm that has traveled in interstate or foreign commerce as a convicted felon.

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