Deputy, homeowner killed in W. Kentucky
Officer may have saved others' lives

LEDBETTER, Ky. -- A sheriff's deputy responding to a domestic complaint and a man armed with a semiautomatic rifle, handgun and magazines of ammunition died Thursday night in a shootout at the man's home.

The bodies of Livingston County Deputy Sheriff Roger Lynch, 51, of Tiline, and Joseph Calender, 48, the homeowner, were found in a stairwell that connects the kitchen to the basement, Kentucky State Police said.

More than 50 guns were found at the home, said Karl Stankovic, special agent in charge of the Louisville office of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

State police said Lynch probably kept Calender's wife and daughter from being killed, as well as a trooper who was rushing to the house about 10 miles southeast of Paducah.

"It is believed the actions of Deputy Lynch saved the lives of additional family members in home as well as Kentucky State Police Trooper Daniel Jones," Trooper Barry Meadows said in a statement yesterday.

Responding to a 911 call at 11:21 p.m. from Calender's daughter, 18-year-old Candice Calender, Lynch entered the home alone before a second deputy and the trooper could arrive to provide backup, police said.

Thirteen minutes later, Calender's wife, Chris, called to report both men had been shot.

State police said they do not know who fired first, but Calender fired at least eight rounds from the rifle, four of which hit Lynch. Lynch fired one round from his service weapon that hit Calender in the chest, police said.

Calender's daughter was treated for a bullet wound to her leg at a Paducah hospital and released. Police did not say how or when she was injured. Calender's wife was not hurt, police said.

Bill Gillahan, 59, a neighbor, said he rushed to the house after learning about the shooting.

"It's just such a tragic thing," Gillahan said.

Livingston County Sheriff Tom Williams declined through a spokesman to talk about the shooting.

There was no local record of Joseph Calender ever having been involved with law enforcement. In addition to the rifle, Calender was armed with a 9mm pistol, police said.

Gillahan, a construction manager who had known Calender for several years, said Calender loved guns. "I could hear him shooting all the time," Gillahan said. "He had some big 'ol guns and some of what sounded like machine gun-type stuff."

He said Calender had been a truck driver until he was injured on the job more than a year ago.

Gillahan said he had recently hired Calender to help him build a cattle fence on land he is farming. He said Calender told him he injured his rotator cuff at work and was seeking disability.

The injury left Calender unable to perform hard labor, "but he did what he could," said Gillahan. "He was in a lot of pain."

He said Calender seemed even-tempered, trustworthy and willing to pitch in.

When Lynch entered the house, his backup was on the way, police said.

Experts say there are no uniform guidelines for how police should respond to domestic calls.

But Harlan County Sheriff Steve Duff said he requires two deputies to go to domestic calls because of the volatility of such situations.

Cindy Shain, co-director of the Kentucky Regional Community Policing Institute at Eastern Kentucky University, said backups are recommended when responding to calls of domestic abuse. "But in reality, it often depends on circumstances. In more remote areas, backup may be far away. It has to be a judgment call of the responding officer," Shain said.

A friend of Lynch's, Vernon Edwards, 59, a special deputy sheriff, said Lynch loved working on his farm at Tiline. He said Lynch was dedicated to his wife and two grown children.

Lynch had worked as a dispatcher and deputy jailer before becoming a deputy sheriff. "He wanted so badly to get to go to the sheriff's academy to become a deputy," said Edwards.

In rural Livingston County, population 9,804, some residents wondered why gunfire erupted at a home where police had never before been asked to respond.

"The mood here today is very somber," said Judge-Executive Chris Lasher. "Roger Lynch was one of the finest individuals I know. He was trusted by his peers and you could not beat him as a person. He will be sorely missed."

Article courtesy of:
By James Malone
The Courier-Journal

From WPSD 6, Paducah, KY

Livingston County, KY: Widow Offers Support to Family of Fallen Deputy

Blair Simmons

Saturday, June 04, 2005

The Lynch family continues through their grieving process. Today a woman who knows their pain first hand drove in from Louisville to lend her support.

Rebecca Grignon's husband, Peter, was killed while on duty with the Louisville Police Department just two months ago.

Now she's taking her experience on the road to help other families cope with the tragedy of losing a family member who died serving.

Grignon says it's good for her to share her experience. She says she'll never fully get over her husband's death, but she wants to be an example that you can get through tragedy.

"There's got to be good somehow that comes out of Peter's death and if it's helping other police officers and their families, then that's what it is," says Grignon.

Livingston County, KY: Sheriff's Department Mourns Fallen Deputy

Blair Simmons

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Late Thursday night, a deputy answered a domestic dispute call just east of Ledbetter in Livingston County, Kentucky. Deputy Roger Lynch went to the home of Joseph Calender. The two exchanged gunfire in the house, killing each other.

Today flags flew at half staff in Livingston County.

Sheriff's deputies wore black bands over their badges to honor Lynch's death and pay respect during the mourning process. Tommy Williams met Roger Lynch over eleven years ago when Williams became Sheriff.

"I firmly believe the Lord put Roger at the Livingston County Sheriff's office," says Sheriff Williams.

He never thought he'd earn the title of pallbearer... especially not in one of his own deputy's funerals.

"This time this deputy worked for me... he was my responsibility," says Williams.

The Livingston County Sheriff's Department was already pretty small with seven deputies. Now that Deputy Lynch is gone, it's even smaller. These guys are more like family than coworkers.

"You'll never find someone the same caliber as Roger to replace that," says Sheriff Williams.

Sheriff Williams is no stranger to having friends on the force die. He's had a handful of his buddies killed while on duty. The last time Livingston County had to plan funeral arrangements for one of their fallen officers was over 20 years ago. Sheriff Williams says it doesn't get any easier. Every time an officer goes down it just re-opens old wounds.

"I drove approximately 20 miles... praying... and I don't remember driving that 20 miles. And I was praying everything was fine and he'd be OK. Of course when i got to Smithland they gave me the bad news, and the other bad news was that I have to notify the family. Not an easy task for any man," says Sheriff Williams.

The funeral is scheduled for 3:00 PM on Tuesday at the Potter's House Baptist Worship Center in Smithland. The public visitation is Monday at 1:00 PM and Tuesday - 10:00 AM until the funeral hour.

Other Stories from WPSD-TV

From KFVS 12, Cape Girardeau,MO

Deadly Shootout Kills Sheriff's Deputy and Local Man

By: Lauren Keith

Ledbetter, KY -- A deadly shootout leaves two families mourning the loss of loved ones and police investigating the death of one of their own.

It was a gruesome discovery for a state trooper in western Kentucky. When the trooper arrived at the scene of a domestic disturbance to find a Livingston County Sheriff's Deputy and another man shot dead.

It happened near the town of Ledbetter, about 11:20 thursday night. Kentucky State Police say when Deputy Lynch arrived on scene, Joseph Calender fired eight rounds, four of them hitting Lynch. Between those shots, Deputy Lynch fired back one fatal shot.

Calender's wife made a second call to 911, and just three minutes after that call a Kentucky State Trooper arrived and found the two men dead.

Investigators spent most of Friday at the crime scene. They found approximately 40 guns inside Calender's home, including assault rifles, a handgun, an illegal silencer, and a bulletproof vest.

Heartland News spoke to several family members and friends of both Deputy Lynch and Joseph Calender on Friday. They say, they're just too upset to speak on camera, but they want everyone to know how much their loved ones will be missed.

Western Kentucky Folks Remain In Shock

Livingston County, KY -- People across Livingston County and western Kentucky remain in shock following a deadly shootout that claimed the lives of two people.

As we told you on Friday, investigators found 51 year old Roger Lynch and 48 year old Joseph Calender dead inside the Calender's home. Lynch responded to a domestic dispute call at the Calender home late Thursday night and when he arrived, there was a shootout. Both men were hit and both died from their wounds.

Saturday afternoon, folks in town and across Kentucky mourn the loss of deputy Lynch. He worked as a deputy for five years. Livingston County Sheriff Tommy Williams says, Lynch was a fine officer whom he was glad to have had the chance to work with in Livingston County.

Heartland News also spoke with counselors and police officers who made the trip to Livingston County to lend their support. One counselor says, she knows the pain the fallen deputy's wife is going through, because she lost her officer husband a few months ago.

Visitation and funeral arrangements have been made for Deputy Lynch. The visitation begins Monday from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Potter's House Baptist Worship Center in Smithland. The visitation continues Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. before the funeral, which is set to begin at 3 p.m.

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