KSP: More explosives found in Harlan Co.


HARLAN, Ky. (WTVQ)- On Wednesday KSP Hazardous Devices Unit and Troopers searched for more explosive devices related to an on-going explosives investigation in the Harlan area. KSP said they obtained information indicating possible locations of improvised explosive devices which had been placed in the area above Woodland Hills subdivision on public and private land. According to troopers they located two additional live improvised explosive devises.

Both items were rendered safe, documented, and removed from the area.

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Kentucky State Police is asking if the public to be cautious and report anything suspicious in the area.



HARLAN, Ky. (WTVQ)- Kentucky State Police investigating a shooting in Harlan Co. in which law enforcement shot and killed 39-year-old Mark Sawaf, are now issuing an alert to area residents about the possibility of explosives in the area.

Sawaf had been accused of putting explosives on trail cameras, and was shot during a fight between himself and multiple law enforcement agencies. KSP says that Lexington Fire Department Captain Brad Dobrzynski, fired the shot that killed Sawaf.

Now State Police are warning the public to take extreme caution around trail cameras that may have been tampered with or altered.  Troopers are also warning residents to be aware of any suspicious packages or potential pipe bombs.

Anyone who locates such an object is advised to contact Kentucky State Police at (606) 573-3131 immediately.


12:44 p.m.

Kentucky State Police have released the name of a man who was shot during an altercation involving several police agencies in Harlan County Thursday evening.

Troopers say 39-year-old Mark Sawaf was shot around 7:00 p.m. in a wooded area near the Woodland Hills community.

Officers say Sawaf had been in custody after being accused of putting explosives in trail cameras, one of which injured a man earlier this year.

Lexington Police were called into help uncover more explosives in Harlan County.

State Police say on Thursday, personnel from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Lexington Police, and the Lexington Arson Unit were involved in  an altercation with Sawaf.

Investigators  say as a result of that altercation, Sawaf  was shot and died at the scene.

Sawaf’s body was sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Frankfort for an autopsy.

Investigators have not released the name of the agency, officer or officers involved in that shooting.

ABC 36 is continuing to follow this story and will have more updates as they become available.


8:58 a.m.

Kentucky State Police say a man is dead after being shot by law enforcement Thursday evening.

Troopers say just before 7:00 p.m. they received a call for assistance in reference to an officer involved shooting in a wooded area near the Woodland Hills community in Harlan County.

According to investigators, law enforcement from Alcohol Tobacco Firearms (ATF,) Lexington Police Department, and Lexington Fire Department Arson Unit were involved in a struggle with a man, and that the man had been killed by gunfire.  The unidentified man was pronounced dead at the scene by the Harlan Co. Coroner’s Office.

The identity of the man will not be released until family is notified.  The body has been sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Frankfort for an autopsy.

ABC 36 will update this story as more information becomes available.