Georgetown, KY – A Scott County sheriff’s deputy was critically wounded during a shootout with a fugitive in a rest area on Interstate 75 on Tuesday night.
Scott County Sheriff’s Deputy Jamie Morales, 28, was assisting federal agents in the apprehension of a wanted man at about 10 p.m. on Sept. 11 at a rest stop on Interstate 75 when a gunfight broke out, WKYT reported.
Scott County deputies and Georgetown police officers were assisting the U.S. Marshals in a search for a serial bank robber who was wanted out of Sarasota, Florida, when deputies spotted the fugitive, 57-year-old Edward Reynolds, according to WLKY.
The Scott County – Georgetown Special Response Team attempted to make contact with Reynolds, and then confront him, WKYT reported.
That’s when Reynold opened fire, and Deputy Morales was wounded. He was shot one time.
Special Response Team members returned fire and Reynolds was fatally shot. The Scott County coroner pronounced him dead at the scene of the incident, WKYT reported.
Deputy Morales was transported to University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital, where he remains in critical condition, the News-Graphic reported.
He underwent emergency surgery on Tuesday night and was taken back into the operating room late on Wednesday morning.
Scott County Sheriff Tony Hampton held an emotional press conference on Wednesday afternoon, during which he was obviously holding back tears on several occasions.
The sheriff said that Deputy Morales had been taken into surgery for a second time about two hours before he met with reporters.
“I have deputies posted at the hospital with the family. I’ve been there and I’m going back,” he said, an struggled to hold back tears
Sheriff Hampton said Deputy Morales was a two-and-a-half-year veteran of the sheriff’s department, and he was well-liked by his peers and the community. The sheriff said the deputy was a U.S. Marine, and was bilingual.
“He’s been an outstanding deputy… he carries a lot of qualifications that you want to see in a deputy sheriff,” he said.
The sheriff said he didn’t know where exactly Deputy Morales had been shot, but said it was somewhere in his back region. He also said the deputy was wearing his ballistic vest when he was shot.
He said it was the first shooting of a deputy in his own 24-year career with the Scott County Sheriff’s Office.
“I think what you can take away from this is that law enforcement in general is a dangerous career, it doesn’t matter how big or how small the community you’re in,” Sheriff Hampton told the assembled reporters.
“We’re in the fastest growing county in the state – Scott County has been for the past four or five years – we have two major interstates that run through here… so the potential for anything to come through as you see last night did,” he said.