Police: Kentucky fugitive dies in shootout after manhunt

AP News
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Posted: Oct 30, 2015 2:24 PM
Police: Kentucky fugitive dies in shootout after manhunt

BURKESVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A fugitive accused of shooting a Tennessee police officer and firing at a Kentucky trooper was killed in a shootout with authorities early Friday, ending a nearly weeklong manhunt and relieving a community on the eve of Halloween.

Floyd Ray Cook, 62, was killed in south-central Kentucky after being confronted by state troopers and a federal marshal searching an embankment, Kentucky State Police spokesman Billy Gregory told The Associated Press.

Cook was armed with a handgun and exchanged gunfire with the officers south of Burkesville, Gregory said. No officers were injured.

The manhunt began after Cook was accused of shooting and wounding an Algood, Tennessee, police officer during a traffic stop last Saturday afternoon. He fled in a truck.

Just over an hour later, a Kentucky State Police trooper recognized Cook's vehicle and tried to stop him in rural Cumberland County, just beyond the Tennessee state line, authorities said. Cook tried to speed away, but wrecked and jumped from the truck. He allegedly opened fire on the officer, missed and ran into the woods.

A swath of the border between Kentucky and Tennessee had been gripped with fear.

Cumberland County Sheriff Scott Daniels said residents in the tight-knit community, who had been on edge and losing sleep, are relieved and now the children can go trick-or-treating without worry.

"People can rest easy now. They know he's not around here no more," he said. "It's been a long, long week and we're all glad it's over."

Convicted of rape in the 1970s, Cook was wanted in Marion County, Kentucky, for failing to comply with the sex offender registry, according to Sheriff Jimmy Clements. He also has convictions for robbery, burglary, assault and riot, and is wanted in Hardin County on an indictment charging him with trafficking methamphetamine and tampering with evidence.

Authorities sent out public alerts. Schools in the Cumberland County district called off classes for three days out of fear that students might cross Cook's path.

Officials believed they had zeroed in on him late Wednesday. An investigator spotted a car associated with Cook at a gas station just off Interstate 65 north of Nashville, said Tennessee Highway Patrol Lt. Bill Miller.

A marshal, believing Cook to be in the car, approached and the driver attempted to speed away, ramming two police cruisers and narrowly missing an officer on foot, the U.S. Marshals Service said. An officer fired at the car.

The car careened down a dead-end street, through a fence and into a ravine, Miller said. Two occupants fled on foot into the surrounding cornfields, he said. But neither turned out to be Cook.

Two of Cook's known associates, Katy McCarty, 35, and her boyfriend, 50-year-old Troy Wayne, were found, arrested and were being held as fugitives.

On Friday, Gregory said law enforcement caught up to Cook after a helicopter pilot spotted him using a thermal imaging device. He said the information helped police narrow their search, and they found him hiding behind a tree.