Lincoln County man killed, deputy wounded in exchange of gunfire near Lancaster

An exchange of gunfire Wednesday ended with one person dead and a Lincoln County sheriff’s deputy wounded, Kentucky State Police said.

The wounded deputy was Colby Reik, Garrard County coroner Daryl Hodge said. Reik also is a full-time Lexington firefighter.

Welby O. Mullins, 64, of Hustonville, was killed, state police said. Reik, who was shot in the arm, was taken to University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital. The injury wasn’t life-threatening, police said.

Reik was shot after he approached the passenger side of a stopped vehicle in which Mullins was riding and Mullins go out of the vehicle with a handgun, police said. The two exchanged gunfire.

The shooting occurred shortly before 4 p.m. at a Sunoco gas station on the northern edge of the Pleasant Retreat shopping center on U.S. 27 just south of Lancaster, state police spokesman Trooper Robert Purdy said.

The Lincoln County sheriff’s office had been looking for a vehicle as part of an investigation. Reik spotted it and followed it north into Garrard County, but Purdy didn’t characterize it as a pursuit.

The sheriff’s office “had been looking for somebody for several days. Today they had a tip that the person was inside the vehicle,” Purdy said.

Two people were in the vehicle when it stopped at the gas station. The driver followed verbal commands from the deputy, Purdy said.

The driver wasn’t initially arrested, Purdy said.

Wednesday’s shooting is the first to be investigated by a new state police unit called the Critical Incident Response Branch, which is designated to investigate officer-involved shootings, Purdy said.