Kentucky off-duty officer shot and killed by impersonator, police say

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Officer Phillip Meacham (Kentucky State Police)

HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. — An off-duty police officer died Thursday in southwestern Kentucky after a man impersonating an officer shot him, according to the Hopkinsville Police Department.

Officer Phillip Meacham, 38, was driving his personal vehicle in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, when he was pulled over and shot by a man pretending to be an officer, police said.

Meacham was taken to a local hospital Thursday but he died from his injuries, said Trooper Rob Austin with the Kentucky State Police.

After an hours-long manhunt, law enforcement killed suspect James K. Decoursey about 30 miles south of Hopkinsville, the Logan County Sheriff’s office said.

Hopkinsville is about 170 miles southwest of Louisville, near the Kentucky-Tennessee border.

The 34-year-old suspect died early Friday morning across state lines in Clarksville, Tennessee, according to the Logan County Sheriff’s Office.

Police say Decoursey ran away after the shooting and then stole a white Chevrolet pickup.

When asked for more details about the police impersonation, state police only said investigators are still trying to determine how the shooting unfolded.

Officer Meacham had been with the Hopkinsville Police Department since May 2017. Before that, he worked at the Christian County Sheriff’s Department for approximately 12 years.

He’s survived by his wife and two school-aged children, Austin said.

Gov. Matt Bevin confirmed on Twitter that an officer had died in Hopkinsville.

“There is no greater sacrifice than that of a person willing to lay down their life for another…Thank God for the Thin Blue Line,” Bevin wrote.

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