Sheriff shares details on officer-involved shooting in Martin County

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Published: Jul. 5, 2022 at 1:37 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 5, 2022 at 6:50 AM EDT
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MARTIN COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - One person is dead following an officer-involved shooting in Martin County after Kentucky State Police and several other law enforcement agencies responded to a call in the Davella community.

Martin County Sheriff John Kirk said, just after 11 p.m., Martin County Dispatch received a call about shots fired at a home on Sandlick Rd. Dispatch was instructed to forward information to KSP after a Martin County deputy had just gone off duty.

“[Dispatch] referred the call to the state police and state police responded to it, they had two troopers respond to it,” said Sheriff Kirk. “Upon their arrival, the way I understand it, upon their arrival they were fired upon.”

The two troopers who responded found themselves in an active shooter situation and were unable to pinpoint the location of the gunman.

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After radioing for help, several agencies across the region responded including the Pikeville Police Department, Prestonsburg Police Department, Paintsville Police Department, Johnson County Sheriff, the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife, two Martin County constables, and the Martin County Sheriff’s Department.

“When they say an active shooter, you actually never know how many. It being dark like that, you’ve got to try to guess where they’re at,” said Sheriff Kirk. “My dispatcher told me that they did not know the whereabouts of it, the shots being fired.”

Sheriff Kirk said no officers were injured during the shooting, but the suspect, who deputies have had run-ins with in the past, was shot and later died from his injuries.

“You know, it’s never an easy decision... it’s something that’s always tough to do, but you have to do what’s best for the people,” said Sheriff Kirk. “You just don’t know people, you think you know people, you don’t know what the next man is thinking, you don’t know what he’s going through, you don’t know what’s on his mind.”

Sheriff Kirk also said he would like to thank those agencies, on-duty and off-duty officers who responded to the scene so swiftly in the face of danger.

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