Lincoln County standoff ends with shooting in muddy field

April 14, 2004|EMILY BURTON

STANFORD - An autopsy is scheduled for today for the man shot and killed by police Tuesday morning after a five-hour standoff in northwestern Lincoln County. An Easter Sunday car theft and subsequent pursuit Monday led police to the Bowen Road community, where the suspect was felled by police in a wet weed field.

Jimmy D. Blakey, 29, of 2825 Bowen Road, was pronounced dead by the Boyle County coroner at Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center, after being rushed there by West Lincoln County EMS.

Blakey was shot in the upper torso by a state police special response team member in the muddy field shortly after 9:30 a.m.

Blakey had barricaded himself in a trailer behind the residence early Tuesday, and remained barricaded until "tear gas was fired into the trailer, and shortly after he left through the back door," said State Police spokesman Chris Lanham.


Blakey then walked through the field and shallow creek toward an occupied residence, brandishing a firearm.

Witness to the shooting

A witness in the residence said he watched the slow pursuit as Blakey approached.

"(My sister) said, 'He's coming down here!,' and I said,' He ain't going to make it that far,'" said William Griffith. Griffith said he heard four to five shots fired by Blakey, followed by what he believed to be several shots fired by police.

Christy Griffith, the sister-in-law of Blakey's girlfriend, told The Herald-Leader Tuesday that she had also witnessed the shooting. According to her interview, Blakey had been acting odd for several weeks.

"He was just messed up on drugs. He was seeing things and saying people were after him," Christy Griffith told the Lexington newspaper. She also said Blakey was not wearing shoes or a shirt as he walked, shooting off the pistol and cursing at police.

Less than an hour after Blakey was transported from the scene, Griffith's sister-in-law and Blakey's toddler daughter arrived at the barricade and were transported from the scene in a cruiser. While waiting for police, she told The Advocate-Messenger that she didn't know what was going on: "He's never acted like this before."

Several officers were talking to the suspect, trying to coerce him into surrendering, and vocal commands to stop and drop the weapon were used continually until the shooting, said Lanham.

"He was asked several, several times to put down the firearm and surrender peacefully," said Lanham. "Officers attempted to use non-lethal munitions on the suspect to get him to comply We did everything we could."

The officer who shot Blakey has been placed on administrative leave, per police policy, said Lanham.

Police had arrest warrants for Blakey

Police had arrest warrants for Blakey for first-degree burglary, theft by unlawful taking over $300 and possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, said State Police in a press release. He was reportedly the top suspect in the burglary of the home of Jeremy Boyle on Easter Sunday.

"I came home Sunday and came around the back of my house, my garage door was open and my four-runner was gone," said Boyle.

Blakey reportedly had gotten the stolen 1990 Toyota Four-runner stuck in the mud during the pursuit and continued to flee on foot, losing police until almost 5 a.m. At that time, Lincoln County dispatchers received a call from a civilian saying they had seen the suspect in the area.

Boyle said the list of missing items also included tools, golf clubs and two handguns.

Blakey had previously been found guilty in Lincoln County courts of receiving stolen property over $300, assault under extreme emotional disturbance, fourth-degree aggravated assault, second-degree forgery and driving under the influence.

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