A Kentucky State Police trooper was injured and an Isom man was shot and killed during a high-speed chase near the Letcher-Perry county line Tuesday night, police said.
Christopher L. Brown, 32, of Scrapshin Branch, Isom, died at the scene on Montgomery Creek, according to police. His last known address was in Hindman, but he did not appear to have a permanent address.
Trooper Donnie Bruce Kelly was taken to the Hazard ARH Hospital emergency room with multiple injuries after being hit by Brown’s car, the Mountain Eagle reported. The injured trooper has been released from the hospital, KSP said Wednesday.
The incident was apparently related to an earlier incident in Letcher County in which Kentucky State Police, Letcher County Sheriff’s Deputies and Whitesburg City Police attempted to serve warrants on several subjects on Kingscreek. Passersby said officers were behind their cars with AR-15s in front of a house near the intersection with Ky. 931 South. No arrest was made at that time, KSP Post 13 spokesman Jody Sims said, and subjects ran into the woods.
Trooper Sims said Brown’s name had come up several times in investigations and complaints over the past couple of months, and troopers were attempting to serve warrants on him and possibly others.
Troopers had been searching for Brown when they received information that he was driving a stolen vehicle and was in Hazard, Sims said Wednesday. Police found Brown at the Daniel Boone Motel in Hazard, and said he fled the scene in a Jeep Cherokee down Combs Road.
The vehicle led police on a chase from Hazard toward Knott County on Ky. 15 at speeds up to 90 mph. The Jeep turned off the highway at Georges Branch at Vicco and drove onto a strip mine with troopers behind it, police said.
At least three troopers were involved in the chase..
The pursuit was ongoing near Big Branch off the right fork of Montgomery Creek when a supervisor told troopers to execute a “pit maneuver” to prevent the Jeep from getting back to a populated area. During a pit maneuver, police tap the rear corner of a vehicle with their own car and push it into a spin.
When troopers exited their cars, Brown rammed Kelly’s car with the Jeep and hit him, knocking him down, Sims said.
A trooper yelled “Shots fired! Shots fired!” into his radio at 6:42 p.m.
Sims said Kelly was “banged up,” but okay. The trooper able to walk on his own, and was taken to the hospital by another trooper.