A Florida man lead police on a lengthy vehicle pursuit in Whitley County Tuesday afternoon in a stolen vehicle while shooting at police officers before being shot himself towards the end of the chase.
Williamsburg Police Chief Wayne Bird said that the suspect, who Kentucky State Police later identified as Earl Reynolds III, 28, of Apopka, Florida, fired multiple times out of the window of his moving vehicle striking Williamsburg Police Lt. Jim Pool’s police cruiser three times.
Two rounds struck the front hood area and one round went through the dead center of the windshield of the cruiser, Bird said.
“Jim was very lucky,” Bird noted. “The round that came through the front windshield, I don’t know how it missed the officer.”
Pool returned fire multiple times striking the suspect once, Bird said.
The suspect was initially taken to Baptist Health Corbin for treatment, and was later flown to the University of Kentucky Medical Center for treatment of his injuries, which are considered non-life threatening, according to a KSP release.
“Kentucky State Police is in charge of the investigation from here per our policy,” Bird noted about his department’s policy regarding officer-involved shootings.
The chase started about 3:05 p.m. when Kentucky State Police Trooper Scott Bunch and Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Sgt. Chris King attempted to stop a reckless driver on Ky. 92 in Williamsburg in a 2008 Dodge Charger.
However, the man didn’t stop and lead them on a chase along Ky. 92 and then onto northbound I-75 at Exit 11.
Over half a dozen officers from several departments, including the Williamsburg Police Department and the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department joined the pursuit as it continued north towards Corbin.
The suspect’s vehicle got off the interstate near Exit 25.
Corbin police apparently joined the pursuit somewhere around this time period, and the chase soon looped back around to I-75 when Reynolds got back onto I-75 heading south towards Williamsburg.
Bird said that one of his officers used spike strips to disable the suspect’s two front tires as the vehicle left the interstate at Exit 11. Pool joined the chase at that point becoming the lead pursuit vehicle.
The suspect continued west on Highway 92, which is where the exchange of gunfire took place. The chase eventually ended near the Whitley-McCreary county line when Reynolds vehicle left the roadway, went into a ditch, and he was apprehended, according to a state police release.
Police later determined that the vehicle was stolen from Florida, according to the release.
No officers were injured during the pursuit.
No one was in the vehicle with the suspect.
State police had traffic on Ky. 92 near the shooting scene shut down in both directions for several hours as they conducted their investigation.
Pool has been employed at the Williamsburg Police Department since 2007, and had prior law enforcement experience before that.
KSP Sgt. Les Moses is lead investigator on the case, which is still under investigation.
Charges are pending against Reynolds.
Also assisting at the scene were the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department, Holly Hill Fire Department, Goldbug Volunteer Fire Department and the McCreary County Sheriff’s Department.