A suspect, armed with a handgun, is in stable condition after being shot by two McCreary County Sheriff’s Deputies after he pointed his gun toward the officers and attempted to fire his weapon.
It was the suspect’s third run in with the law over the previous five days.
McCreary County Sheriff Randy Waters states he, along with Deputies Odell Smith and Greg Chaney were responding to a call of a possible break-in on Day Ridge Road at approximately 2:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.
Upon the officers’ arrival Sheriff Waters spotted the suspect, identified as Anthony Murphy, 46, carrying a handgun and running through a wooded area toward his residence at 4186 Day Ridge Road.
As the Sheriff and Deputy Smith were making their way toward the rear of the mobile home, Deputy Chaney was in the back yard searching for the suspect.
Murphy apparently came out of a hole under his rear porch, about 30 feet away from the officers, brandishing his weapon. He first pointed the gun at Deputy Smith, who alerted his fellow officers of the presence of the gun.
Murphy then reportedly turned his weapon, a 9 mm. handgun, on Deputy Chaney and pulled the trigger.
Fortunately for the officer the weapon jammed, but the two deputies returned fire, discharging five rounds and striking the suspect in the process. As of press time it was unclear how many times Murphy was struck by the return fire.
None of the shots appeared to be fatal, as Murphy reportedly stood up after being hit.
McCreary County EMS responded to the scene where they transported Murphy to the North McCreary Fire Department landing pad, where the victim was airlifted to the University of Kentucky Medical Center for treatment of his wounds.
Due to the officer involved shooting the Kentucky State Police is taking over the investigation, with Detective Billy Correll serving as the lead investigator.
As per Sheriff’s Department policy, Deputies Chaney and Smith will be placed on an administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
Sheriff Randy Waters said he was relieved the situation didn’t become worse, and there were no injuries to his officers.
“I have two Deputies who were able to return home to their families at the end of the day, and I am very grateful for that,” he said.
“This just proves that any time law enforcement responds to a call, no matter how calm it seems at first, can escalate and put lives in danger.”
Murphy’s gun, in addition to a knife, were recovered at the scene.
As of Wednesday Murphy remained at the U.K. Medical Center.
No charges have been filed as of yet, but Murphy could possibly be charged with Attempted Murder of a Police Officer, Wanton Endangerment and Possession of a Handgun by a Convicted Felon.
This was the first officer-involved shooting in McCreary County since December 24, 2007, when Trooper Tony Dingus and Sheriff Gus Skinner shot an armed robbery suspect after he drew his weapon on police.
It was the third time in the previous five days for law enforcement and emergency responders being called to the same residence.
On Friday evening officers were dispatched to the home after reports of an ongoing assault between two women were called in to McCreary County 911.
When law enforcement arrived, two suspects, a male and female, fled from the back of the residence into the unlit area. The female apparently lost her footing, falling down an embankment, injuring herself in the process.
Members of the McCreary County Search and Rescue Squad and Whitley City Fire Department were called in to assist and the victim was located at the base of a cliff.
A high-angle rescue was initiated to retrieve the woman and bring her to an ambulance, where she was later transferred to a waiting helicopter for medical evacuation.
The male suspect, later confirmed to be Murphy, was not located that evening as further searches proved difficult due to the terrain and darkness.
On Monday night officers returned to the scene after reports of a suspect attempting to steal a neighbor’s dogs.
Upon arrival officers found the residence heavily barricaded from the inside. As they were attempting to make entry, Murphy slipped out of a trap door in the floor of the trailer and tried to elude arrest by escaping to the rear of the trailer.
Deputy Odell Smith attempted to stop the fleeing suspect by shooting him with his Tazer. The suspect fell, sliding down an embankment, breaking the leads in the process. He then got to his feet and went down another slope and disappeared into the darkness.
At the time Murphy was wearing a jacket, and at least one of the leads from the Tazer lodged in the fabric of the heavy clothing. Murphy was wearing the same jacket Tuesday, and the lead was found still embedded in the article of clothing.
Murphy was considered armed, and a search of the area for the suspect was eventually called off due to darkness and safety reasons.
An initial search of the residence turned up 11.5 grams of methamphetamine on a couch, in plain view. The drugs were confiscated.
The investigation is continuing, with officers expecting to obtain a search warrant for the residence.