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Off-duty Kentucky officer fatally shot, manhunt continues

HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. – The manhunt continued Friday for a man suspected of fatally shooting an off-duty police officer in a small Kentucky town, then fleeing in a stolen truck, according to Kentucky State Police.

State police said Thursday night at a press conference that the 38-year-old Hopkinsville officer Phillip Meacham was shot that afternoon and was taken to a hospital, where he died.

Trooper Rob Austin determined that the suspect, 34-year-old James K. Decoursey of Hopkinsville, who police said fled on foot then took in 1997 of a white Chevrolet pick-up truck with registration number 2070GH. Austin said Decoursey may have changed vehicles and should be treated as armed and dangerous. He said that the Tennessee Highway Patrol helicopter was helping in the search, as well as multiple other police agencies.

Meacham, who was married and had two school-age children had with the Hopkinsville department since May of 2017, and that worked for about 14 years with the Christian County Sheriff’s Department, Austin said.

Hopkinsville police chief Clayton Sumner told reporters, “I just want to ask everyone for their thoughts and prayers for the family. Also for the men and women that are out there, trying to find this criminal and bring him to justice.” He said in the mental health and chaplains had been brought in to help Meacham, the co-workers.

He also said that he spoke briefly with the slain officer’s widow to tell her two things: “We will find him,” and “I’ m sorry.”

Gov. Matt Bevin announced the officer’s death on Twitter.

In Frankfort, lawmakers in the House stood for a moment of silence after Rep. Walker Wood Thomas of Hopkinsville announced that an officer had been shot.

Hopkinsville is about 73 km (117.48 km) northwest of Nashville, Tennessee.

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