Kentucky police officer killed in the line of duty; no suspect named

Officials say officer Scotty Hamilton, a 12-year veteran who joined the Pikeville Police Department in 2006, was shot dead Tuesday night. (WCHS/WVAH)

A suspect has not been named after a Pikeville, Ky., police officer was shot and killed in the line of duty Tuesday night.

Officer Scotty Hamilton was a 12-year veteran and joined the Pikeville Police Department in 2006. Kentucky State Police Post 13 Public Information Officer Jody Sims said Hamilton was shot while he and Trooper Matt Martine were investigating an area known to have high criminal drug activity.

KSP is handling the case as a murder investigation.

According EKB-TV, Hamilton and Martin were in the Hurricane Creek area about 11:30 p.m. when he was shot and killed.

"They had a presence in the area due to past known incidences of drug trafficking," Sims said during a news conference Wednesday.

With the information that has been gathered by KSP detectives, it is not known if there were any witnesses to the shooting incident. Sims said Martin was not in the immediate proximity when Hamilton was shot, but Martin told detectives he did hear gunshots.

At least three shots were believed to have been heard, Sims said, and Hamilton sustained at least one gunshot wound to the head.

Watch the news conference with Sims in the video player below:

KSP spokesman William Petry said four people were taken into custody at the scene on unrelated charges. Petry also said that another person was arrested for having an active warrant for possession of a handgun. That person, who has not been identified, is a convicted felon, Petry said.

Officers are working diligently trying to obtain any information, Sims said.

A critical response team has come in with robots to assist in the investigation. Petry said that drones also were being used at the scene to search for more evidence.

Officers held a procession for Hamilton through Pikeville about 1 p.m. Wednesday.

A candlelight vigil will be held at 8 p.m. Thursday at Billy Johnson Stage at the East Kentucky Exposition Center to honor Hamilton.

Troopers are asking anyone with information to call the Kentucky State Police at 606-433-7711 or the Pikeville Police Department at 606-437-5111.

Officers from other locations in Kentucky and West Virginia have been showing their support on social media.

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin also shared his sympathy on social media.

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