Man wanted for questioning in Kentucky police officer shooting death taken into custody

Kentucky State Police say John Russell Hall, 55, of Hurricane Road in Pikeville, Ky. , has been taken in to custody. (Kentucky State Police)

A man wanted for questioning in the Tuesday evening shooting death of Pikeville, Ky., police officer Scotty Hamilton has been taken in to custody.

Kentucky State Police said John Russell Hall, 55, of Hurricane Road in Pikeville, Ky., was taken into custody about 11 a.m. Thursday. State Police said he was captured in the Stoney Brook area of Pike/Floyd Hollow in the Betsy Lane community of Floyd County.

KSP obtained an arrest warrant for Hall for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Hall is being questioned in relation to Hamilton’s death, State Police said.

Pikeville police officer Scotty Hamilton, 35, of Harold, Ky., was fatally shot Tuesday evening while conducting a criminal patrol on Hurricane Creek. He and Trooper Mike Martin encountered a suspicious vehicle in the area and spoke with the occupants of the vehicle before assessing the area around a nearby residence for possible suspects on foot, Sims said. Hamilton was believed to have gone up an embankment ahead of Martin and was fatally shot. Hamilton suffered at least one wound to the head.

Hamilton was pronounced dead at the scene by the Pike County Coroner's Office. The perpetrator was not located at the scene, Sims said, and it is unknown if there were any witnesses. Martin told investigators he thought he heard at least three gunshots, but was not in the immediate area when the incident took place.

Anyone with information should contact KSP Post 9 at 606-433-7711.

Funeral arrangements have been announced for Hamilton, who was a 12-year veteran for the Pikeville Police Department. Visitation will be held 5 p.m. Friday and noon to 9 p.m. Saturday at the East Kentucky Expo Center. The funeral will be held 1 p.m. Sunday at the same location with Brad Smart, Christ Bartley and Billy Ratliff officiating.

A candlelight vigil is scheduled for 8 p.m. Thursday at Billy Johnson Stage at the East Kentucky Exposition Center to honor Hamilton.

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