Boone County officials ID man suspected of escaping from Verona gas station

Deputy fired at man as he drove across parking lot
Posted at 11:54 AM, Mar 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-20 19:11:15-04

VERONA, Ky. -- A Boone County sheriff's deputy shot at a suspect early Monday because he feared he'd be run over, according to court records.

That suspect, 32-year-old David P. Vaughn, escaped and has not been arrested.

The confrontation began when Deputy Bruce Fields and Lt. Dan Stephens went to a Marathon gas station for a report of a suspicious person. It was about 1:15 a.m., and, according to an arrest warrant, Vaughn had been at the business on Verona-Mudlick Road for about two hours.

David Vaughn, shown in a still image from a Boone County deputy's body-worn camera

One of the deputies found him in a car's driver's seat with a needle, the arrest warrant says -- and Vaughn said he was shooting up heroin.

The deputy couldn't get him handcuffed because of his size, and Vaughn was able to get back into the car and put it in drive, the arrest warrant says.

"I think you’d like to say, 'How does this happen? There’s case after case of people on drugs, or let's just say he was motivated to get out of there," sheriff's spokesman Maj. Tom Scheben said.

During a struggle, Stephens fell away from the car, and Fields fired his weapon four times. He said he thought Vaughn was going to run them over. Authorities believe Fields' gunfire hit the car, but they’re not sure if he hit Vaughn. 

Police found the car, a gray Chevrolet Cobalt belonging to Vaughn's father, in a parking lot in Vevay, Indiana not long after. 

Before Monday morning's escape, Vaughn already was wanted in Boone County on a probation violation. Court records show he previously served time for felony drug, theft and forgery charges. He's also wanted in Williamson County, Tennessee, on charges of aggravated burglary and theft. He now faces additional charges of tampering with physical evidence, heroin possession, fleeing or evading police, two counts of assault and two-counts of wanton endangerment.

Deputy Bruce Fields, left, and Lt. Dan Stephens

Fields, a 12-year law enforcement veteran, is on administrative duty. Stephens is on light duty because of the injuries he suffered at the scene, Scheben said.

Officials believe Vaughn may still be in the area: He was most recently known to live in Florence, Kentucky. He is described as white, 5 feet 8 inches, 341 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information as to his whereabouts should not approach him. Instead, they're asked to call 911 or Crime Stoppers at 513-352-3040.