Crime

Police: Officer shoots, kills man with knife trying to rob Middlesboro BP

A Middlesboro police officer shot and killed a 20-year-old man who allegedly threatened the officer with a knife after trying to rob a BP gas station, Police Chief Jeffrey Sharpe said Thursday.

Sharpe said Leamond Ward of Middlesboro died Wednesday night at Middlesboro Appalachian Regional Hospital from two gunshot wounds.

Sharpe would not identify the officer, who has been placed on administrative leave during an investigation of the shooting.

About 9:45 p.m. Wednesday, police were called about a man trying to rob Lee's BP on 38th Street. Several people were inside and outside the Bell County store.

Employees and customers tried to restrain the suspect, police said.

The first officer to arrive entered the store and told people to step back, Sharpe said.

"Ward immediately got up, produced a knife and advanced toward the officer," Sharpe said in a statement. "Ward was told to drop the knife but refused and continued in the direction of the officer as he made slashing motions with the knife. The officer fired two rounds with his service weapon, both striking Ward."

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