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Kentucky State Police investigating officer-involved shooting in Letcher County

Published: Jan. 21, 2021 at 12:17 PM EST
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LETCHER COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - One man is in the hospital and charged with wanton endangerment after leading police on a chase on US-119 early Thursday morning.

Just before 2:00 a.m. Thursday morning, Kentucky State Police Post 13 in Hazard received a call from KSP Post 10 in Harlan advising them that a police chase was about to enter Letcher County on US-119 South.

”We had troopers engaged in that pursuit, picking up at the county line, they pursued down 119 northbound,” said KSP Trooper Matt Gayheart.

Troopers from Post 13 picked up the case and followed a black Chevrolet Tahoe north on US-119 South. Once the chase entered the city of Whitesburg, Whitesburg Police officers also assisted.

The suspect, 28-year-old Jared Ratliff of Jenkins, then drove towards the officers, hitting a Whitesburg Police vehicle. Officers fired their service weapons in fear of being hit by the truck.

“Those officers feared for their safety, fear for their life,” added Gayheart. “A vehicle is very much a deadly weapon.”

Gayheart said an earlier investigation into Ratliff is what started the pursuit.

”Into a violation of a Kentucky EPO and DVO, emergency protective order,” added Gayheart.

The chase continued onto US-119 North until Ratliff lost control of the truck and hit an embankment. He was taken to Pikeville Medical Center to be treated for a non-life-threatening gunshot wound.

”A little over a 20-minute long period, from the time it entered our district, until the time he was taken from the vehicle,” added Gayheart.

Ratliff is being charged with one count of first-degree wanton endangerment.

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