Pineville, Ky (WVLT) -- Two teens charged in the death of a Bell County (Ky) Sheriff's deputy are making an appearance right now in Juvenile Court to answer to murder and assault charges.
Citing family members, The (Wilmington, DE) News-Journal identifies the suspects as David J. Poppiti, 17, of New Castle, Delaware, and his friend, Eric J. Gerren, 16, of Lincoln University, Pa. Kentucky State Police would not release the names.
Poppiti is charged with Murder of a Police Officer, Assault of a Service Animal, Speeding, Fleeing and Evading, Theft By Unlawful Taking and No Operators License.
Gerren is charged with Murder of a Police Officer and Assault of a Service Animal.
Deputy Anthony Sean Pursifull, 31, was killed early Thursday morning when his cruiser was hit by a car being chased by police. His K9, King, also died.
Kentucky State Police received a call for a gas drive-off. Troopers caught up to the suspects on US 119, where they were allegedly speeding in a black Mazda.
As the pursuit entered Bell County, troopers were notified the vehicle was linked to a missing persons report for the 16 year old passenger.
Deputy Pursifull was standing by to help with the chase when the suspect's vehicle crossed the center line and struck his vehicle on the right side, according to KSP.
Pursifull and his K9 were killed.
Stay tuned to Volunteer TV News for continued coverage of this developing news story.