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Update: Ohio County Deputy Involved in Shooting After Patrol Vehicle Stolen

Date of News Release: 10/30/2015

Stolen Car Stolen Car

Centertown, KY (Ohio County) - Kentucky State Police has charged 25-year old Bobby R. Barber of Madisonville with a list of charges stemming from Thursday's criminal spree. After he was released from the hospital, Evansville authorities transported him to Henderson County Detention Center because he had an existing Kentucky parole violation warrant. Barber has been charged with the following offenses:

  1. Wanton Endangerment 1st Degree, Police Officer, Felony-Ohio County
  2. Fleeing/Evading Police 1st Degree, Motor Vehicle, Felony-Ohio County
  3. Theft by Unlawful Taking over $10,000, Felony-Ohio County
  4. Burglary 2nd Degree, Felony-Ohio County
  5. Failure to Appear (two counts)-Hopkins County
  6. Probation and Parole Violation, served by Kentucky Probation and Parole

Barber remains lodged in the Henderson County Detention Center in Henderson KY.

(Additional charges are likely as the investigation is still in the early stages and reaches into multiple counties with multiple offenses).

KSP detectives say Sergeant Chris Matthews, an 18-year veteran with the Ohio County Sheriff's Department, shot his .40 caliber service weapon four times during the brief struggle inside the patrol vehicle.

Sergeant Chris Matthews has been placed on a two week paid administrative leave, which is normal protocol for most law enforcement agencies when officers are involved in the use of force (police related shootings).

Original News Release Below:


Ohio County Deputy Involved in Shooting After Patrol Vehicle Stolen

Date of News Release: 10/29/2015

the deputy's Ford SUV patrol vehicle the deputy's Ford SUV patrol vehicle

Centertown, KY (Ohio County) - On Thursday, October 29, 2015 around 2:10pm, Kentucky State Police Post 16-Henderson was notified by Ohio County Dispatch that an Ohio County Deputy was involved in a police action shooting around the 5100 block of KY 85 West of Centertown. Ohio County authorities further advised that the perpetrator unlawfully took the deputy's Ford SUV patrol vehicle and collided with another vehicle near Centertown. He fled the scene and was last seen heading westbound on KY 85 towards McLean County.

A short time later, McLean County Dispatch had received a call of a single vehicle collision on US 431 and Doug Hill Road (KY1412 W), approximately 1/2 mile south of Livermore (McLean County) involving the patrol vehicle. It was reported to KSP that after the perpetrator wrecked the deputy's patrol vehicle, he exited and ran under Doug Hill Road via a concrete tile and came up the embankment on the opposite side of the highway. He and was able to gain access to a 2015 Jeep Cherokee that was parked on US 431, who had stopped to render aid to the perpetrator. He then fled the scene heading south on US 431.

Officers with the Madisonville Police Department located the stolen vehicle traveling westbound at a high rate of speed on KY 70 (Anton Road) in the limits of Madisonville. A pursuit ensued with the stolen vehicle exiting onto the Pennyrile Parkway at exit 42. The pursuit continued southbound until the stolen vehicle exited the parkway at exit 40. The vehicle traveled behind the Tech Center on Grapevine Road where the suspect abandoned the vehicle in a field and fled on foot.

The suspect was located in a cellar at a residence on Hartland Avenue where he was taken into custody by officers at the scene.

He was transported by ambulance to Baptist Health Madisonville for treatment. He was later flown to St. Mary's in Evansville where he is still being treating for a single gunshot wound to his chest (believed to be from the encounter with the Ohio County Sheriff's Deputy).

This was originally initiated at approximately 1:45pm when Ohio County authorities had received a call of a man slumped over a four wheeler on KY 85 West in the Centertown community. EMS arrived and was able to wake him up. He fled the scene from them on the four wheeler; however, on-scene EMS believed he was intoxicated. An Ohio County Sheriff's Deputy was patrolling the area and noticed the four wheeler in front of a residence in the 5100 block of KY 85 west still running and headlamp on. The deputy noticed a door to the home open as well. As the deputy went inside to investigate and clear the residence, the perpetrator fled from the home and was able to gain access to the deputies patrol vehicle parked in front of the residence. As the deputy was attempting to remove the perpetrator from the vehicle, the perpetrator engaged the vehicle while the deputy was partially inside. The deputy pulled his service weapon and shot multiple times in an effort to stop the perpetrators actions.

At this hour, the perpetrator has not been charged; however, his identity will be released once he is official charged.

The investigation is continuing by the KSP. The Madisonville Police Department, the Hopkins County Sheriff's Department, the Ohio County Sheriff's Department, McLean County Sheriff's Office and the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife assisted.