Kentucky off-duty officer shot and killed by impersonator, police say

(CNN) – An off-duty police officer died Thursday in southwestern Kentucky after a man impersonating an officer shot him, according to the Hopkinsville Police Department.

Officer Phillip Meacham, 38, was driving his personal vehicle in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, when he was pulled over and shot by a man pretending to be an officer, CNN affiliate WSMV reported, citing local police.

Meacham was taken to a local hospital Thursday but he died from his injuries, said Trooper Rob Austin with the Kentucky State Police.

The slain officer had been with the Hopkinsville Police Department since May 2017. Before that, he worked at the Christian County Sheriff’s Department for approximately 12 years.

He’s survived by his wife and two school-aged children, Austin said.

Hopkinsville is about 170 miles southwest of Louisville, near the Kentucky-Tennessee border.

A manhunt for the suspect is underway. Police say 34-year-old James K. Decoursey ran away after the shooting and then stole a white Chevrolet pickup.

He’s considered to be armed and dangerous, state police said.

When asked for more details about the police impersonation, state police only said investigators are still trying to determine how the shooting unfolded.

Gov. Matt Bevin confirmed on Twitter that an officer had died in Hopkinsville.

“There is no greater sacrifice than that of a person willing to lay down their life for another…Thank God for the Thin Blue Line,” Bevin wrote.

Blogs