Elizabethtown Police Detective Chase McKeown and his wife, EPD Officer Nicole McKeown, were enjoying a date Saturday evening at the Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers on Bardstown Road in Louisville when they noticed a disturbance at the front counter.
The off-duty officers saw a man enter the restaurant wearing some sort of mask and he showed a handgun to an employee at the front counter.
The couple drew their off-duty service pistols and advanced on Justin Carter, 30, of Louisville. Carter fled the restaurant, according to surveillance video, dropping his gun in the process.
Chase and Nicole pursued on foot, cornered Carter, and held him at gunpoint until Louisville Metro police officers arrived and took him into custody.
“We both recognized what was going on at the same time. We have both been trained for this sort of thing,” Chase said Tuesday during a news conference at EPD. He said instincts took over and they did what they were trained to do in that situation.
Detective Dan Mason with the Louisville Metro Police Department robbery unit said officers responded at approximately 9:50 p.m. Saturday. He touted Chase and Nicole’s efforts.
“It is my belief, if not for the heroic action taken by these two officers, the perpetrator’s actions inside the business would have escalated,” he said.
Whether it is sitting on the sidelines of their favorite sporting event, at a church function, at their child’s recitals or even during a date night, when they witness criminal activity, Mason said it is a police officer’s duty, oath and responsibility to react accordingly.
“We’re police officers 24 hours a day, seven days week, on duty and off duty,” he said.
Megan Brown, Raising Cane’s area leader of marketing in Louisville, shared the company’s appreciation of the officers’ quick actions.
“We are extremely blessed that they chose to dine with us on Saturday evening and heroically put their own lives at risk to save the lives of our crew members and customers from any number of negative outcomes,” she said. “We will never be able to thank them enough, but I can assure you on behalf of everyone at Raising Cane’s, we’re truly grateful for their act of bravery.”
The couple, who met on the job at EPD when Chase was a patrol officer and Nicole worked as a dispatcher, have been married six months.