Wife And Daughter Of Officer Meacham Witnessed His Murder
Hopkinsville, KY – The wife and daughter of an off-duty Hopkinsville police officer witnessed him being murdered by a man who was posing as a police officer, according to a Christian County judge-executive.
The brutal slaying took place on Thursday night, while 38-year-old Hopkinsville Police Department (HPD) Officer Phillip Meacham was driving in his vehicle with his wife and third-grade daughter, WHAS reported.
Hopkinsville PD says that 35-year-old James Kennith Decoursey was posing as a police officer when he made a traffic stop on off-duty Officer Meacham at around 5:10 p.m.
What occurred after the initial stop was unclear.
According to police, Decoursey fatally shot Officer Meacham during a confrontation, and then fled from the scene, The Leaf-Chronicle reported.
Christian County Judge-Executive Steve Tribble said that the officer’s daughter was sitting in the backseat when her father was murdered, WHAS reported.
Officer Meacham’s wife was also in the car, he said.
At the hospital, the slain officer’s little girl told investigators what she saw.
"Last night in the hospital, she was pointing to her chest,” Tribble said. “Of course, she was very emotional and said, ‘That man shot my daddy in the chest.’”
Police said that Decoursey stole a white 1997 Chevrolet pickup after the murder, which was located in a Cracker Barrel parking lot in Clarksville, Tennessee, early Friday morning, The Leaf-Chronicle reported.
Investigators soon received a call that a man matching Decoursey’s description was at a nearby hotel asking for a cigarette, CNN reported.
As police headed towards the hotel, Montgomery County sheriff’s deputies and a U.S. Marshal witnessed the gunman while he crossed the street, headed back towards the stolen pickup.
"Decoursey appears to have ignored repeated commands and the situation escalated, resulting in the law enforcement officers firing upon Decoursey, killing him," the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) said in a statement, according to CNN.
Officer Meacham was a 14-year law enforcement veteran in Christian County, and had just joined Hopkinsville PD a year ago.
He will be laid to rest on Wednesday, WHAS reported.