Two deputies injured in shooting in Knox County; suspect killed

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KNOX COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky State Police are investigating a shooting in Knox County.

KSP Trooper Shane Jacobs tells WKYT two Knox County Sheriff's deputies were shot while attempting to serve a warrant at a home on KY-225 south of Artemus.

The shooting happened around 11:40 a.m.

According to KSP, an individual in a trailer fired shots at Deputies Claude Hudson and Keith Liford, striking both of them. Trooper Jacobs says both deputies returned fire killing the suspect.

Trooper Jacobs says a medical helicopter flew Liford to UT Knoxville for treatment. He was shot four times, but is expected to recover.

Deputy Hudson was taken to a local hospital, where police say he was treated and released. They credit his bulletproof vest with saving his life.

State police have since identified the suspect as John Wesley Bays, 50. According to KSP, Bays has been arrested several times before.
Court records show his most recent indictment was on burglary, persistent felony offender, receiving stolen property, and criminal mischief charges.

Police say when deputies arrived to the home, they met Brian Simpson out on the porch. They say he told them no one was home.

"Now, whether he knew or not, that's still under investigation," Trooper Jacobs said. "We're still trying to gain more information on that. But he did make comments that no one was inside this residence but him. And then that's when they went inside and was encountered by Mr. Bays shooting at them."

Simpson was arrested on an outstanding warrant. He declined WKYT's request for an interview from jail.

People all over the county say they are glad Deputy Hudson is OK, and they are praying hard for Deputy Liford's recovery.

"I pray for the law enforcement every night, ask God to watch over them," said Nequetta Hubbard, who lives next door to the shooting scene. "If it wasn't for the law, people couldn't even lay down and sleep every night."

Liford is also a pastor. People who know him say they have a lot of respect for him.

"I sure do," said Ricky Smallwood. "I think the world of him. He's treated me good, and he's treated a lot of people on the street - he tries to help people."

John Wesley Bays

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