An off-duty Hopkinsville Police Department officer was shot to death Thursday afternoon near Paulette Court and the man who allegedly shot him is now dead.
The incident happened at 5:10 p.m. and Kentucky State Police identified the victim as 38-year old Officer Phillip Meacham. Meacham had been with HPD since May of last year and prior to that spent 12 years with the Christian County Sheriff’s Department.
Hopkinsville Police issued a news release, saying Officer Meacham was pulled over in his personal vehicle by a man pretending to be a police officer. Shortly after, Meacham was shot by the suspect and died from his injuries at Jennie Stuart Medical Center.
Kentucky State Police identified the suspect as 35-year old James Decoursey of Hopkinsville, who allegedly stole a pickup after the shooting and fled the scene. A search continued by several agencies through much of the overnight hours until word came through KSP that Decoursey had been located by police in Clarksville and that he had been fatally shot after a brief encounter with law enforcement.
TBI spokesman Josh DeVine gave details on the chain of events that led to Decoursey’s death to WHOP News at the scene near Exit 4 on Wilma Rudolph Boulevard early Friday morning.
DeVine says the impact of the murder of Officer Phillip Meacham is being felt across the region.
He says diligence of the investigating officers and help from the public led to Decoursey being located.
Wilma Rudolph Boulevard remains closed between Oakland Road and I-24 as detectives process the scene.
Hopkinsville Police Chief Clayton Sumner says the tragedy of Meacham’s death is a reminder that officers are always in danger—even when they are off the clock.
He says his officers are receiving assistance to deal with their grief.
Sumner says Officer Meacham will be sorely missed in the local law enforcement community.
Decoursey has an extensive criminal history and had been arrested before by HPD.
Hopkinsville Mayor Carter Hendricks encouraged the community to keep HPD and the family of Officer Meacham in their prayers. He says City of Hopkinsville flags will be flown at half-staff to honor Officer Meacham.
Officer Meacham leaves behind a wife and one child.
Another video of Hopkinsville Police Officer Phillip Meacham's body escorted out of Hopkinsville to the Medical Examiner's Office in Madisonville. pic.twitter.com/4BDOGPrMz7
— WHOP AM/FM (@WHOPradio) March 30, 2018
From Mayor Hendricks pic.twitter.com/66RkLxB6uC
— City of Hopkinsville (@Hopkinsville_Ky) March 30, 2018