3 dead, deputy wounded after shooting, fire in Kentucky

AP News
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Posted: Jan 09, 2017 7:51 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Authorities allege a man killed his mother and his girlfriend, then barricaded himself inside his rural Kentucky home and opened fire on responding deputies. He is then believed to have set his own home on fire before turning his gun on himself.

The victims, badly burned by the fire, were identified after autopsies Monday morning in Frankfort.

Rowan County Coroner John P. Northcutt said a preliminary investigation showed that 51-year-old Garry Morrison died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. His mother, 71-year-old Anna Morrison, and his girlfriend, 32-year-old Latoya Cooper, died of gunshot wounds.

Authorities converged on the rural home near Morehead on Sunday after the suspect called 911 to report he had shot his girlfriend, the sheriff said.

The suspect opened fire from inside the home when officers arrived, Rowan County Sheriff Matt Sparks said.

Rowan County sheriff's deputy Baker Hollis was shot in the arm just above the wrist, Sparks said. Officers returned fire while recovering the deputy, Kentucky State Police said. Hollis was treated at a hospital and released. No other officers were injured.

The suspect fired at least three different types of weapons, based on the sound, and kept moving around the mobile home, Sparks said.

"It was almost like he was trying to draw officers in there," the sheriff said. "He was back far enough in the residence that they didn't even see him as he was firing on them."

Sparks said he spoke briefly with the suspect by phone three times during the standoff. The man said he wanted to talk to the FBI and CIA but abruptly hung up each time, he said.

"He was just rambling," the sheriff said. "He was pretty much out of it."

The standoff lasted at least two hours. As the gunfire subsided, the home became engulfed flames, he said. Officers didn't enter the burning home immediately because they didn't know if the man was alive and able to open fire on them, he said.

"Basically the home had burned down before we could get the fire department in there to put the flames out," he said.

Investigators stayed at the scene all night and into Monday morning, Northcutt said, with temperatures dipping below 9 degrees.

"It was a very trying night," he said. "We were working under extreme conditions."

Morrison and his mother were found in the front room of the trailer, while Cooper was found in a separate room in the back of the home.

Northcutt said initial autopsy results indicate all three were dead before the fire.