Investigators release information on Hopkinsville officer shooting

The man is said to be driving a stolen white 1997 Chevy Z71 extended cab pickup with a Harley Davidson sticker on the back window. It has Kentucky tag 2070GH. (Source: Benton, KY Police Department)
The man is said to be driving a stolen white 1997 Chevy Z71 extended cab pickup with a Harley Davidson sticker on the back window. It has Kentucky tag 2070GH. (Source: Benton, KY Police Department)
Officer Phillip Meacham was killed while off-duty. (Source: Kentucky State Police)
Officer Phillip Meacham was killed while off-duty. (Source: Kentucky State Police)

HOPKINSVILLE, KY (KFVS) - Officers with the Kentucky State Police have released new information after James K. Decoursey was shot and killed by law enforcement after an encounter in Clarksville, Tennessee.

They said Decoursey was found in Clarksville where he had a brief encounter with law enforcement. He was shot and died from his injuries according to police.

According to an investigation by Kentucky State Police, Decoursey had been driving with against the law emergency blue lights. The officer, off duty, called a supervisor.

38-year-old police officer Phillip Meacham requesting a uniformed officer to assist in investigating the vehicle with flashing lights.

After Decoursey pulled onto a dead-end street, Meacham remained nearby to make sure Decoursey did not leave.

A uniformed officer eventually met Meacham before they approached Decoursey, who appeared to be working on his vehicle in a driveway.

Investigators reveal Decoursey shot Meacham then left the scene. Officer Meacham was taken to Jennie Stuart Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigations is investigating the incident that happened in Clarksville.

According to the TBI, authorities issued a BOLO — be-on-the-lookout — for Decoursey, and developed information he had stolen a white truck and may have been in a particular area of Clarksville, Tennessee. Law enforcement officers from several agencies, including the Clarksville Police Department, the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, and the United States Marshals Service met in the area and found the stolen vehicle in the parking lot of a restaurant on Wilma Rudolph Boulevard according to investigators.

At the same time, investigators said a call came into authorities from a hotel across the street, saying that a man matching Decoursey's description was there asking for a cigarette. The law enforcement officers headed in the direction of the hotel, when two deputies from Montgomery County and one U.S. marshal encountered Decoursey walking across Wilma Rudolph Boulevard, back toward the restaurant.

TBI investigators said Decoursey appears to have ignored commands from officers and the situation escalated, resulting in the law enforcement officers firing upon Decoursey, killing him. No law enforcement officers sustained injury in the incident.

Decoursey was considered armed and dangerous. He was wanted in the shooting of a Hopkinsville, KY police officer.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released a statement on the death of 38-year-old police officer Phillip Meacham.

"Last night's targeted act of violence against one of Kentucky's finest is shocking. Elaine and I send our prayers to the family of Officer Phillip Meacham, the Hopkinsville Police Department, and the entire community struggling with this loss. Kentucky's law enforcement put their own safety at risk every day facing serious dangers, and our communities are made safer by their service and sacrifice. Officer Meacham's bravery won't be forgotten."

The incident happened at 5:10 p.m. on Thursday, March 29 near Paulette Court in Hopkinsville.

Meacham was shot by the suspect and later died from his injuries at Jennie Stuart Medical Center.

According to KSP Post 2 Officer Rob Austin, Meacham was an officer with Hopkinsville PD since May 2017.

He also worked for Christian County Sheriff's Office for 12 years prior to Hopkinsville PD.

According to Hopkinsville Police, an off-duty police officer was pulled over in his personal vehicle by a man pretending to be a police officer.

Police were searching for 34-year-old Decoursey.

The Kentucky State Police Special Response Team responded to the area to assist in the search, the Tennessee Highway Patrol aircraft section is assisting, along with multiple local and federal agencies.

Kentucky Governor Bevin took to Twitter to acknowledge the officer's death.

Hopkinsville Mayor Carter Hendricks said all resources were directed toward locating this suspect and his prayers are with HPD and with the fallen officer's family.

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