Hunter killed in Clay County identified

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CLAY COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - A hunter is dead after he and another man were shot while turkey hunting in Clay County Thursday morning.

Officials with Kentucky State Police confirm to WKYT that Brian Griffin, 28, died from his injuries. Griffin and the other injured hunter were airlifted from the scene to UK Hospital.

The shooting happened in a rural area between Manchester and Fogertown in rural Clay County. Officials have been searching the area where it happened for most of the day with a K-9 unit while friends helped look for Griffin's keys at the scene.

Police tell us three men were turkey hunting along Highway 638. That's when their hunting trip was cut short while walking along a ridge line. They were shot by an unknown person, according to Clay County Sheriff Kevin Johnson.

The third man in that group called for help, Johnson said.

"Two of the gentlemen were hit. The third individual was not hit, and he was able to call 911," said Trooper Lloyd Cochran with Kentucky State Police.

Throughout the day, we've learned a bit about the man who was killed, Brian Griffin, from the Clay County High School basketball coach, who once played ball with Griffin.

"Brian's a great friend of mine," said Coach Robert Marcum. "He played at Clay County a few years back. And as a basketball coach at Clay County, I always welcome people into the gym that actually wore the Tiger jersey."

Coach Robert Marcum also tells us he worked alongside Griffin at a prison for a few years as well.

"Just a tremendous person," Marcum says. "Never heard of anybody saying anything negative about him. You know, he's just so calm natured and just a happy person."

As for the second victim, a family friend says that man is Jason Roberts of Clay County who was flown to UK Hospital. We have no word on his condition.

As of 11 p.m. on Thursday, state police and Sheriff Johnson were still looking for the shooter responsible for this. The sheriff also wants to clear up a rumor, saying this case is not connected to drug activity in the area. He's calling this a hunting accident.

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