Man who died after shootout with state police identified as Breathitt resident

A Breathitt County man appears to have died of blood loss from a gunshot to his leg after a shootout with police Monday afternoon, the Breathitt County coroner said Tuesday in a news release.

Deputy Coroner Mitch Smith said fingerprint tests identified the man as Jeffrey Lynn Southwood, 44.

Officers were called to Barge Creek Road in Clayhole about noon after a report of a reckless driver and a possible case of driving under the influence, state Trooper Tony Watts said.

He said that when officers found the truck involved, a man fled into the woods and shot at police officers about 2 p.m. The officers — including three state troopers, a Breathitt County sheriff's deputy and an officer from Commercial Vehicle Enforcement — returned fire, Watts said.

They called in additional support and evacuated neighbors. At 7:30 or 8 p.m., the man who had fired at the officers was found dead of a gunshot wound in the woods near where the incident had occurred.

Watts said it was unclear whether the man shot himself or was killed by the officers' shots.

"It could have been either," he said.

An autopsy is to be conducted.