By Nita Johnson
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Technology and diligence played key roles in the apprehension of a man wanted for shooting at a female on Wednesday afternoon.
The events leading to the arrest of 20-year-old Zachary Franke of London began when a woman went to a residence on Konitzer Lane, southwest of London in the Sublimity area, around 2:30 p.m. to clean the home. Without cause, Franke — who reportedly was staying at the residence where she worked — fired a .38 caliber revolver in the direction of the woman, then fled the scene on a white bicycle in the direction of Ky. 1006, heading toward the Lily community.
Franke is a military veteran. He left the residence with a pistol. With his military training and possession of a firearm, police considered Franke to be “armed and extremely dangerous.”
The Laurel County Sheriff’s Office jumped into action following the shooting incident and combed the areas nearby unsuccessfully.
That’s when technology came into play.
By tracking his cell phone, the Sheriff’s Office Special Response Unit (SRU) went to Ky. 229 around 7:45 that evening where they searched the apartment complex and residential areas. A team of officers including Deputy Gilbert Acciardo, Deputy Andrew Lawson, and London Police Officer Rick Cloyd began a search of Flea Land Flea Market and located Franke hiding in a port-a-potty in the rear of the flea market. The pistol was also found inside the port-a-potty. Franke was taken into custody without incident and charged with first-degree wanton endangerment and theft by unlawful taking of a firearm. Franke was then taken to the Laurel County Detention Center.
Coordinating the searches were Sheriff John Root, Capt. Rodney Van Zant (who led the Sheriff’s Office SRU team), and London Police Major Derek House. Other officers participating in the search included Lt. Chuck Johnson, Senior Sgt. Greg Poynter, Deputy Daniel Grigsby, Deputy Gilbert Acciardo, Deputy Andrew Lawson, Det. Jason Back and Det. Josh Scott from the Sheriff’s Office; London City Police Department Major Derek House, Capt. Darrell Kilburn, Sgt. Ritchie Reynolds, Sgt. Doug Thomas, Officer Jeremy Shell, Officer Daryl Zanet, and Officer Rick Cloyd. Det. Josh Scott is continuing the investigation.
Senior Sgt. Greg Poynter conducted the first investigation that involved the shooting incident. Also assisting were Deputy Daniel Grigsby, Deputy Shane Rice, Deputy Brandon Broughton, and Deputy Andrew Lawson.