Police and Law Enforcement

Louisville police officer dies after crash during high-speed chase

Officer Nick Rodman

Officer Nick Rodman  (WDRB-TV)

A Louisville Metro Police officer who was in critical condition after a fiery crash in west Louisville on Tuesday night has died.

Mayor Greg Fischer and LMPD Chief Steve Conrad said in a joint news conference at University Hospital that the officer, Nick Rodman, died at 3:40 p.m. Wednesday after suffering a severe head injury.

Rodman, who had been with the department for more than three years, was pursuing a suspect around 8 p.m. Tuesday when his cruiser was hit near 26th and Duncan Streets. His cruiser was heavily damaged and caught fire. He had to be extricated from the wreckage before being rushed to University Hospital. 

Rodman has a wife and two young children. His father and brother are also LMPD officers.

Fischer called Rodman "a man of compassion and commitment ... and a wonderful public servant."

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Conrad said the incident Tuesday started with a calls of shots fired just before 8 p.m. at 26th and Madison Streets. Three more calls came shortly thereafter, including one for an assault. 

"If there was something going on, Nick was in the middle of it," Conrad said. "That's the kind of police officer Nick was."

Once on scene, Rodman attempted to join the pursuit of a suspect at the intersection of 26th and Duncan Streets. He had a green light, and as he attempted to turn, his cruiser was hit in what Conrad called a "very violent" collision.

There is no word on the condition of other people involved in the violent crash. But at least one other person was taken by ambulance from the scene.

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The suspect in the case is charged with murder.

Dozens of LMPD vehicles were parked outside University Hospital on Wednesday morning as officers kept vigil. Conrad stayed until the early morning hours. He said hundreds of officers stopped to show support.

"Nick died doing what he wanted to do," Conrad said, holding back tears. "He died doing what he was born to do: serving this community.

"We truly, truly lost a good man."

Read more from WDRB.com.