Pikeville, KY – Pikeville Police Department (PPD) Officer Scotty Hamilton, 35, was killed in the line of duty on Tuesday night, when he was shot in the head during an ambush.
Police said that Officer Hamilton and Kentucky State Police (KSP) Trooper Matt Martin were following up on a report of a vehicle theft at approximately 11:30 p.m., when they arrived at a residence in the Hurricane Creek area, WDRB reported.
The pair spoke with individuals in a vehicle near the residence, then separated and began looking for an individual on foot, according to the Lexington Herald Leader.
Officer Hamilton began following what appeared to be fresh tracks in the snow, which led him to the back of a residence, WDRB reported.
As he peered around the corner of the home, Officer Hamilton was shot at least once in the head.
According to WSAZ, as many as three gunshots were heard.
Trooper Martin rushed to the fallen hero’s aid, but Officer Hamilton was pronounced dead at the scene.
Four individuals in the area were arrested on unrelated charges, but Officer Hamilton’s murderer escaped, KSP spokesman William Petry told the Lexington Herald Leader.
Investigators continued to search for the unnamed shooter, and deployed drones to aid their efforts.
Many gathered along a Pikeville processional route on Wednesday afternoon, as the officer’s body passed beneath an American flag hoisted by a fire truck, en route to the funeral home.
Officer Hamilton, a 12-year-veteran of the PPD, had been married to his wife, Chelsi, for five years, WDRB reported.
He was also the father of a 9-month-old daughter, Brynlee, according to WKYT.
Officer Hamilton loved his wife and child “more than life itself,” his friend, Jason Akers, told the Lexington Herald Leader.
“There’s a strong bond with fellow law enforcement officers, regardless of what area that you work in,” Island Creek Fire Department Chief Randy Courtney told WYMT. “We all face the same dangers, the same obstacles, it’s a career that we’ve chosen, it’s one of public service. Your heart really goes out to officers in this kind of situation to his family, his coworkers and his community. I know Officer Hamilton will be sorely missed.”
Officer Hamilton will be laid to rest on Sunday, WKYT reported.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Pikeville Police Department Officer Scotty Hamilton, both blood and blue. Godspeed, we will take the watch from here. Thank you for your service.
Officer Scotty Hamilton, your life mattered.