Mother and son fatal shoot-out — (The Courier-Journal)

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The Courier-Journal

By Charlie White and Jessie Halladay

Son apparently shot mother first

Louisville Metro Police are still trying to determine what prompted a fatal shootout between a mother and son in their City View Park apartment earlier this week.
Investigators said yesterday that they believe Leon Porter, 28, fired several shots at his mother, Bonnie Porter, 47, while she was in her bedroom in the apartment at 1036 W. Muhammad Ali.
“She was hit several times but she was able to return fire,” said Lt. Barry Wilkerson, head of the homicide unit.
Bonnie Porter died of multiple gunshot wounds, said Jesse Paulley, a Jefferson County deputy coroner. Her son died of a single wound in the head, Paulley said
Wilkerson said police do not know what led to the shooting.
A family friend said yesterday that Leon Porter, an only child, had suffered severe depression and a chemical imbalance after his girlfriend, the mother of his two children, left him.
Charles Johns, who said he lived with the Porters last year, described Bonnie Porter as “my best friend” for 22 years. “She would do anything in the world for you and not ask for anything in return.”
Johns said Leon Porter, known as “Pookie” to family and friends, had been treated at Our Lady of Peace last year and was supposed to be taking medication for his mental illness.
He said Bonnie Porter had put her son through college, and he had worked the late shift at UPS until recently losing his job.
Johns said Leon Porter respected his mother “and he loved her,” though there was a noticeable change in his demeanor after his girlfriend left.
The bodies were discovered Thursday night after a call to police asking them to check the welfare of Bonnie Porter because she had not shown up for work.
She did cleaning and janitorial work for a living, Wilkerson and Johns said.
Bonnie Porter was an active member of St. Stephen Church, Johns said, and she watched her two grandchildren every Friday.
Johns said he and Bonnie Porter had not seen each other in a couple of weeks because of their work schedules.
Neighbors told police after the bodies were discovered that gunshots had been heard Tuesday night, but police were never called, Wilkerson said.
Based on the condition of the bodies, Paulley said the time of death was likely Tuesday night.
Both were shot with 9 mm semiautomatic handguns.
Wilkerson said there are no records of police going to that address in the past two months.
They also found no criminal record for Leon Porter, Wilkerson said.
“We have no indication of why this occurred,” he said.
Reporter Charlie White can be reached at cwhite@courier-journal.com < mailto:cwhite@courier-journal.com> or (502) 582-4653.
Reporter Jessie Halladay can be reached at jhalladay@courier-journal.com < mailto:jhalladay@courier-journal.com> or (502) 582-4081.