KSP: Trooper shot wanted fugitive in self-defense

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Trooper involved shooting on Midway Road in Scott County 8-816

ROCKHOLDS, Ky. (WTVQ) – State Police say a Trooper shot a wanted fugitive in self-defense in Whitley County Tuesday afternoon.

Investigators say their preliminary investigation shows that Troopers and Whitley County Sheriff’s deputies found 31-year old Billy Barnhill, of Rockholds, on an ATV at a home in that community around 4:20 p.m.

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As officers approached Barnhill, he took off on the ATV at a high rate of speed and tried to run over several officers, according to KSP.

Investigators say Barnhill went north on KY 26 for several miles and turned onto Gilly Lane and went into a wooded area. A Trooper got out of his car and walked into the wooded area looking for Barnhill, according to State Police.

Barnhill turned his ATV around and drove at a high rate of speed in the direction of the Trooper and tried to run him over, according to State Police.

Investigators say the Trooper shot Barnhill in self-defense. The Trooper wasn’t hurt.

Barnhill was taken to Baptist Regional Medical Center and later transferred to UK Hospital in Lexington. His condition wasn’t released.

The name of the Trooper who shot Barnhill wasn’t released. He was placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure anytime a Trooper is involved in a shooting. State Police say his name will be released at a later date.

The Kentucky State Police Critical Response Team out of Frankfort is investigating the incident.

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.