KSP Identifies Suspect, Trooper In Fatal Christian Co. Shooting

Sep 19, 2018

Christian Co., Ky.
Credit Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

Wednesday Update: The Kentucky State Police say the suspect in an officer-involved shooting this week in Christian County is Damon Christopher Gayheart, 44, of Owensboro, Kentucky. The trooper is Paul Hale, a three year veteran of the Kentucky State Police. 

Hale has been placed on administrative leave. The KSP Critical Incident Response Team is continuing an investigation.  

Original Story:

The Kentucky State Police is investigating a fatal officer-involved-shooting early Monday morning in Christian County.

According to a release on Monday, KSP responded to a request for assistance from the Christian County Sheriff's Department at 12:24 a.m. The request involved a suspicious vehicle at the intersection of Meacham Road and Greenville Road, with the driver slumped over the steering wheel.

Police discovered the vehicle was stolen from Akron, Ohio. Police said the suspect became uncooperative and the trooper attempted to remove the suspect from the vehicle. The suspect began to flee and the trooper was dragged by the vehicle until he could dislodge himself.

Police pursued the vehicle for several miles southbound on Greenville Road. While in pursuit, the vehicle caught fire and became fully engulfed.

In an interaction after the pursuit, the trooper fatally shot the suspect. The suspect was pronounced dead by the Christian County Coroner.

An investigation is ongoing. Police say the identity of the suspect is unknown.