Kentucky State Police say a trooper was forced to shoot a wanted suspect Tuesday afternoon after the man attempted to run over the trooper with an ATV.
Trooper Lloyd Cochran, public affairs officer at Post 11 in London, said the trooper struck the suspect, identified as 31-year-old Billy Barnhill of London, at least once with shots from his Glock .40-caliber as Barnhill drove at him at a high rate of speed.
Barnhill was taken to Baptist Health Corbin and then airlifted to the University of Kentucky Medical Center.
Officials at UK said Barnhill is in serious condition.
Sources identified the trooper as Jeremy Elliotte.
“We can’t confirm that,” Cochran said when asked adding the trooper’s name would be officially released at a later time.
Knox County Sheriff’s deputies had been searching for Barnhill and one other suspect since approximately 12:30 a.m. Tuesday when they responded to a report of a stolen motorcycle hidden in the woods on Park Helton Cemetery Road off of Ky. 6 in Woodbine.
When deputies responded to the location, they located the stolen motorcycle. They soon heard an ATV start-up at the top of a hill above them, which they went to investigate.
When deputies got to the top of the hill, they observed a red Chevy S-10 pick-up truck with an attached utility trailer parked next to a camper that they learned was also reported as stolen, according to a release from the sheriff’s department.
Deputies found Casandra Barnhill, 28, of London, inside the camper. Two men, who were also present at the camper location, fled on the ATV as deputies approached, the release stated.
Deputies arrested Barnhill charging her with receiving stolen property over $500 and public intoxication. She was lodged in the Knox County Detention Center.
Deputies identified one of the two men, who fled the scene on the ATV, as Barnhill.
In addition to theft and fleeing charges, William Barnhill was also wanted on a Whitley County bench warrant on second-degree wanton endangerment, third-degree criminal mischief, and contempt of court charges, according to the release.
In addition, William Barnhill was allegedly a fugitive wanted in Florida for grand theft auto, the release stated.
Cochran said about 4:20 p.m. KSP and other law enforcement went to a residence in Rockholds in search of Barnhill.
Cochran said Barnhill rode off from the scene on the ATV, travelling north on Ky. 26 and turning onto Gilly Lane. Troopers continued the pursuit to the end of the road as Barnhill continued up into a wooded area.
Cochran said the trooper had exited his vehicle to continue the pursuit on foot when Barnhill came back down the hill towards the trooper, who drew his gun and fired.
One neighbor reported hearing multiple shots coming from the area.
Cochran said the trooper has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation by a KSP Critical Response Team out of Frankfort.