An off-duty police officer in Kentucky was pulled over and shot dead by a suspect impersonating an officer, police say. Phillip Meacham, a 38-year-old Hopkinsville officer, was fatally shot in the small Kentucky city Thursday afternoon when his private vehicle was pulled over, ABC 11 reports. Police say the suspect, 35-year-old local man James Kenneth Decoursey, fled the scene on foot before stealing a white Chevrolet pickup truck. A manhunt was launched and Kentucky State Police troopers announced early Friday that the suspect had a "brief encounter" with police in which he "was shot and died from his injuries" about 30 miles away in Clarksville, Tenn., reports the AP.
Hopkinsville Police Chief Clayton Sumner says the department is familiar with Decoursey, though police haven't commented on why the suspect was impersonating an officer. Meacham, the married father of two school-age children, served in the Christian County Sheriff's Office for 12 years before joining the Hopkinsville force last year, the New York Daily News reports. The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that state lawmakers held a moment of silence for Meacham Thursday night and Gov. Matt Bevin paid tribute to the fallen officer. "Tonight a police officer in Hopkinsville, KY was killed in the line of duty," the governor tweeted. "There is no greater sacrifice than that of a person willing to lay down their life for another." (Read more Kentucky stories.)