Louisville, KY – A homicide detective who threatened to bring in guns to work to shoot several specific sergeants during post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) episodes was met by police officials at the airport when he returned from treatment and given a pre-termination letter.
Louisville Metropolitan Police Department (LMPD) Detective Christopher Palombi was assigned to the police department’s homicide unit when the incidences occurred in December and January, WDRB reported.
Det. Palombi had been told he was being re-assigned out of homicide, and he had requested a transfer to the Office of Sexual and Physical Investigations, LMPD said in a letter given to the detective that explained the police chief had begun his termination process.
Kristen Palombi explained that her husband is suffering PTSD from a number of prior experiences and his condition is serious, WHAS reported.
“He’s had PTSD from the military, from the riots, and probably from doing his everyday job,” his wife, Kristin Palombi, explained to WHAS.
Det. Palombi served as lead investigator for multiple high-provide homicide cases including the murder investigation of 35-year-old Jeremy Lind, who was tortured and had his tongue cut out in 2020, WDRB reported.
Kristin Palombi said her husband spent the last month in treatment for PTSD.
Thomas Clay, attorney for Det. Palombi, said that the incident that led up to his termination occurred during a PTSD episode and he blacked out and has no recollection of it, WHAS reported.
“We want some understanding out of the department that he needs help,” Clay said.
He said Det. Palombi has a meeting scheduled with MPD Chief Erika Shields and other department brass on Monday to tell his side of the story, WHAS reported.
“I would hope there would be some understanding about what was actually going on here rather than what was said in a moment he has no recollection of,” he said.
The attorney said will appeal the pre-termination letter from Chief Shields that was given to Det. Palombi on Feb. 16, WDRB reported.
He said his client was suffering from severe PTSD from serving the U.S. military in combat in Afghanistan.
Clay said Det. Palombi had also suffered trauma from being shot at four times during the 2020 Breonna Taylor riots in Louisville, WDRB reported.
Det. Palombi has been in a treatment center in California for the last 30 days, according to his attorney.
“From my observation, he doesn’t pose a danger to anybody,” Clay said.
The police chief’s letter said LMPD recommended firing Det. Palombi for a violation of obedience to rules and regulations and conduct unbecoming, WDRB reported.
Chief Shields wrote that Det. Palombi’s threats during his PTSD episode constituted a violation of terroristic threatening in the third degree.
The detective has not been charged, according to WDRB.