Kentucky officer killed by police impersonator, suspect dead

HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A man wanted in the fatal shooting an off-duty police officer in a small Kentucky city was found and killed by law enforcement officials in Tennessee.

James K. Decoursey, 34, of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, "had a brief encounter with law enforcement" officials in Clarksville, Tennessee, where he "was shot and died from his injuries," Kentucky State Police Trooper Rob Austin said in a statement released early Friday.

Kentucky State Police said Decoursey was fatally shot 38-year-old Hopkinsville officer Phillip Meacham Thursday afternoon, then fled on foot and drove away in a stolen pickup truck. The details about his final encounter with law enforcement in Tennessee later Thursday weren't immediately released. Austin said the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is investigating.

Fox News reports Decoursey was impersonating a police officer and had initiated a traffic stop prior to the shooting.

Authorities haven't described Decoursey's motive. Hopkinsville Police Chief Clayton said DeCoursey had a prior arrest record, was known to police, and that while he wasn't positive the two men knew each other personally, "considering they're both from here, it's very likely."

Meacham, married and with two school-age children, had been with the Hopkinsville department since last May after working for about 14 years with the Christian County Sheriff's Department, Austin said.

Sumner said he spoke briefly to the slain officer's widow while the suspect was at large, telling 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 miles (117 kilometers) northwest of Nashville, Tennessee.