Teenagers Charged With Murder After Crash Kills Sheriff''s Deputy

PINEVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Two teenagers were charged with murder Thursday after they led police on a high-speed chase in Bell County and hit a parked sheriff's cruiser, killing the deputy and K-9 dog inside, authorities said.

The driver drove away from an Exxon gas station in Baxter without paying at 12:35 a.m., authorities said. Police followed the car at least 10 miles west on U.S. 119 into a neighboring county.

Two state troopers attempted to stop the speeding driver on the winding highway.

The teen's car veered over the center line and rammed into a cruiser parked on the shoulder waiting to join the pursuit, killing Bell County Sheriff's Deputy Sean Pursifull, 31, and his K-9 dog King, state police said.

"It's just a tragedy on multiple levels. This was a $38 tank of gas - that's what this boils down to," Bell County Judge Executive Al Brock said.

The 17-year-old driver, from Delaware, and a 16-year-old passenger from Pennsylvania were slightly injured. Their reason for being in Kentucky were not known.

Authorities were not immediately identifying the suspects because they are juveniles, state police spokesman Walt Meachum said. Both were released from a hospital and jailed in the Adair County Juvenile Detention Center on charges of murder of a police officer and assault on a service animal.

Pursifull and his dog made up the K-9 unit at the 10 man sheriff's department in Bell County.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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  • by Doug Location: Middlesboro on Jan 15, 2008 at 06:15 AM
    This is in response to Gene's earlier posting about "cowboy cops". The car was identified speeding at over 70 miles per hour on a two lane road before it was connected to the gas. They were a danger to the general public whose job it is of the law enforcement to protect and serve. I'm guessing that with your negativity towards them that you probably aren't on the best of terms with them from previous experiences. These guys put it on the line everyday. They live a life dedicated to other peoples safety. I just have one question for you, How is the view from the cheap seats? maybe you should just say thank you for your sacrifice of working long hours for little pay, working holidays, and spending much time away from families, and though very sad and tragic paying the ultimate price when duty calls.
  • by Donna Location: Georgia on Jan 14, 2008 at 08:53 PM
    I am from bell co and now live in Georgia and was up there for a funeral in Calvin which is really known as blackmont when this happened. I feel for the pursiful family and my prayers are with them. Police officers dont really get the gratitude they deserve until they die It should not have happened to this cop, those boys should really have to pay for what they did. and another thing! I didn't know him nor have i ever heard of him but he was a Father , Husband, and friend to the people of Bell co, My hometown I pray that justice is done for him and his greiving family. May god bless his family and the home of bell co.ky
  • by (Crystal) G & D Auto on Jan 14, 2008 at 03:18 PM
    All the negatives thoughts and bad comments in the world well along the good ones will bring back Sean and King back. So please if you want to fuss, fight and, argue....do it somewhere else its getting old quick. I will say one thing for sure that this deputy did not cause his and kings death. He said he was in the area, he didn't much get those words out and ems was being called out he scene. He may have lost his life and Kings BUT think about how many was saved. I know all this for a fact. As for Deputy Pursifull and Deputy King You all be greatly missed. The Family will be in our thoughts and prayers!!!!!
  • by Lindsey Location: Springfield on Jan 14, 2008 at 09:41 AM
    My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Sean Pursifull. God Bless you all. I am truely thankful for all that our brave law enforcement officers do for us citizens. That is something some of these morons need to stop and think about when they write in it's not the kids' fault, he was on a powertrip, yada, yada. He was doing his job to try and keep the rest of the county safe from these (edited) kids who were probably hopped up on something. He was completely innocent. I can't even read all these comments because my heart aches for the family and the community, and I want to strangle someone when I read these anti-law enforcement rants.
  • by anonymous Location: Pineville on Jan 13, 2008 at 08:37 PM
    1st, my prayers are with Sean's family. 2en what of the driver's mother and father? if he was only 17 way are they not getting in trouble?
  • by Jennifer Location: Knox County on Jan 13, 2008 at 06:00 PM
    I think people need to stop and thank police officers, ambulance drivers, and other medical personell that put their lives in danger EVERYDAY for the safety of their community. There is no such thing as time off of work for holidays or anything like that. people that have nothing to say but bad things about this man, they need to think about his 2 little girls. this is not a place to argue and gripe about what did and did not happen, this is a place to post messages that might be a comfort to his family and 2 little girls and wife.....
  • by Elizabeth Location: Barbourville on Jan 13, 2008 at 09:49 AM
    To sean's WIFE Deana and their two girls my thoughts and prayers are with you. We love you.
  • by Patricia Location: SE Kentucky on Jan 13, 2008 at 06:30 AM
    First off I want to say that my heart goes out to Sean's family, friends, and the members of the BCSO. Many prayers are with you all. I haven't known Sean for very long, but I do know that he was a dedicated officer and a friend to those who knew him. Second, to all of those that are leaving negative comments, why not keep them to yourselves?! The people of Bell Co are suffering enough without you all adding to it. None of you were there when all of this took place so you have no idea what really happened. There are not any police lying of covering up what really happened. Allow the family, friends, and fellow workers mourn Sean and King without all the negativity. They may look here for help and if they see all of the negative stuff it will not help them at all. Think of Sean's kids at least. What if they want to see what people are saying about their dad?? RIP Sean and King. You will both be missed.
  • by my opinion Location: Pineville on Jan 12, 2008 at 10:09 PM
    well i want to start off by sayin sean was family more like a brother...AND HE WAS NOT SITTIN OUT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD! dont blame him u dont know the story if u blame anyone it should be the kids and thats the bottem line. so everyone just needs to shut up with all there smart remarks!
  • by OFFICER Location: FLOYD CO. on Jan 12, 2008 at 07:44 PM
    To all the people that think us cops should not chase people we can sit here and say get a tag # or something like that . But if this person had done something to you ,you would try to get us fired if we didnt chase them. Everyone says why chase them over $38.00 in gas how are us cops going to know this. The bottom line is dont run from the police . For those of you that dont like us then I am sure you have been in trouble with us before. So dont call the next time somebody hits your car of takes your drugs or you need us. For DEPUTY PERSIFULL thank you and god bless you . For gene and the rest of the (edited) bags that dont like us cops then dont screw up in floyd co. if you do I hope I am the one that gets you.

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