CLAY CITY, Ky. (AP) - A small-town police chief in eastern Kentucky was shot to death Wednesday after making an arrest, state police said.
Police Chief Randy Lacy was allegedly shot by a man he was transporting to the Powell County on a charge of driving under the
influence, state police spokesman Phil Crumpton said.
Charges were pending against suspect Jamie Barnett, 37, for Lacy's death, Crumpton said. Lacy was pronounced dead at the scene at 11:35 a.m. by Powell County Coroner Carl Wells.
"It's a terrible tragedy. I can't tell the family how sorry I am for their loss," Clay City Mayor Jimmy Caudill said.
Lacy, 55, had served as police chief of Clay City since 2004, but began serving in law enforcement in 1985. Garland Lacy, the police chief's brother, said he learned about the shooting while listening to a police scanner.
He said his brother was dead by the time he reached the scene. "He was respected by all the police officers, and he was even loved by the people he was putting in jail," said Garland Lacy, a court bailiff and chaplain for the sheriff's department.
He said he recently bought a fishing boat with his brother, and had discussed with him that he should consider retiring from full-time police work so he could have more leisure time.
Garland Lacy said he has conducted several baptism ceremonies for prisoners at the jail, and that his brother played guitar during those ceremonies.
Barnett has a long criminal history, according to records from the Powell County Circuit Court Clerk's office. He was charged with assaulting a police officer in 1994, according to court records. In April, he was charged with driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident and disorderly conduct, court records said. The April 9 drunken driving arrest was his second DUI offense, according to the records.
It was at least the second fatal shooting involving law enforcement officers in Powell County, a rural county in the foothills of Appalachia.
Sheriff Steve Bennett and deputy Arthur Briscoe were killed while trying to arrest Ralph Baze in 1992. Baze was convicted of the killings and is currently on Kentucky's death row.
Gov. Ernie Fletcher directed that flags at all state office buildings remain at half-staff in honor of Lacy until sunset on the day of his funeral.
Clay City, a town of about 1,300 residents, is 40 miles east of Lexington.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)