Clayton Sumner, Chief of the Hopkinsville Police Department in Kentucky, sadly reports the death of Officer Phillip Meacham.
Officer Meacham, 38, was off-duty and driving his personal vehicle when an individual that was impersonating a police officer stopped him. During the traffic stop, there was some interaction between Meacham and the impersonator.
Due to the small community where “everybody knows everybody;” it is believed that Meacham knew the suspect, and confronted him during the traffic stop.
As a result of that interaction, the suspect impersonating an officer, drew a weapon and shot Meacham.
Meacham was transported to Jenny Stuart Medical Center where he succumbed to his gunshot wound and died.
BREAKING: Hopkinsville PD have released a photo of Officer Phillip Meacham. He was shot and killed Thursday evening. The suspect, James Decoursey, is armed and dangerous. https://t.co/mjS9ffxdCJ pic.twitter.com/vc27imxGUI
— NewsChannel 5 (@NC5) March 30, 2018
The suspect fled the traffic stop on foot and stole a 1997 White Chevrolet pick up truck nearby.
An all points bulletin was broadcast for the suspect and the vehicle as reports of the shooting and vehicle theft came into the 911-call center.
Hours later, the vehicle was located at a Cracker Barrel restaurant in Clarksville, Tennessee. Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputies along with troopers from the Tennessee Highway Patrol and U.S. Marshal’s Office descended on the area.
At the time the vehicle was located, a call was received indicating that the suspect was at the motel across the street from the restaurant, asking for a cigarette. Officers located the suspect as he was walking back to the restaurant parking lot and confronted him. Officers attempted to take the suspect into custody, but he refused to comply with the officers’ demands to surrender.
The suspect, who was considered armed and dangerous, escalated the resistance to the apprehending officers and the suspect was ultimately shot and killed by deputies from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department.
The shooting of Meacham is being investigated by the Kentucky State Police. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting of the suspect.
Matt Bevin, the governor of Kentucky, stated, “There is no greater sacrifice than that of a person willing to lay down their life for another. … Thank God for the Thin Blue Line.”
— Adam Snider (@AdamSniderNews) March 31, 2018
Phillip Meacham served the Hopkinsville Police Department for one year. He had previously served with the Christian County Sheriff’s Department for 12 years.
His wife and two school age children survive him.
Officer Meacham is the sixth officer to be killed in the line of duty from Hopkinsville Police Department. All six died as a result of gunfire. The last line of duty death was in July of 1971 when Officer Amos Faulkner Jr. was shot and killed as he attempted to quell a fight in a bar between a husband and wife.
Officer Phillip Meacham is gone, but will never be forgotten. EOW: Thursday, March 29, 2018.