Officer Released From Hospital

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

Update: Friday, October 31st

A Floyd County police officer who was attacked with a knife, is out of the hospital.

Officials say Martin Police Sergeant Brian Ratliff and State Police Trooper Isaac Whitaker were responding to a disturbance call when they were attacked. They say 38 year old James Rederick came at them with a knife, cutting Ratliff on the throat. Officers say they fired at Rederick in self defense.

Whitaker is on administrative leave, pending the outcome of an investigation.

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A man is dead and an eastern Kentucky police officer recovers from stab wounds.

Investigators are shedding light on what happened overnight in Floyd County.

Investigators say James Rederick lunged at a state trooper and a Martin Police sergeant with a knife.

That's when both officers shot at Rederick.

The incident has some neighbors on edge.

Martin City Police say callers reported a man throwing rocks at cars by the Pepry Apartments.

Police went to check it out and that's when the man attacked them.

Brenda Hall says she was asleep in her apartment and didn't know any thing was wrong until she heard gunshots.

“We woke to a bang. That's the only thing a large bang. Didn't realize what it was. Sat up in bed and saw all of the flashing lights,” Brenda Hall said.

She says police were at her next door neighbor's.

“We could hear them yell and tell somebody to get on the ground,” Hall said.

Police say the man, 38-year-old James Rederick, stabbed Martin City Police Sergeant Brian Ratliff in the neck.

Then both Ratliff and Trooper Isaac Whitacker, shot him.

Police say Rederick was in his doorway when the officers approached him.

After the shooting, Rederick died and Sergeant Ratliff is expected to survive.

According to police, Rederick has a criminal history, but do not know why he stabbed the officer.

Hall says he acted agitated the last few days.

Hall says she does not know if she'll be able to sleep tonight.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by both sides Location: floyd county on Nov 10, 2008 at 03:50 PM
    MY HEART AND PRAYERS GO OUT TO THE 2 OFFICERS INVOLVED ..I HOPE THEY BOTH CAN DEAL WITH THE PAIN AND SUUFERING THEY ARE GOING THROUGH ...BUT,IN CASE MOST PEOPLE DON'T KNOW THE YOUNG MAN THAT WAS KILLED BY THESE 2 OFFICERS IS THE SON OF A RETIRED KY STATE TROOPER ....AND MY HEART TRULY GOES OUT TO HIS FAMILY ....PEOPLE NEED TO WALK IN OTHERS SHOES BEFORE LYING JUDGEMENT ON ONE ANOTHER..BUT GOD IS TO MAKE JUDGEMENT NOT THE PEOPLE OF THE PUBLIC...
  • by floyd co mom Location: prestonsburg on Nov 7, 2008 at 01:53 PM
    this is a crock..if it were a police officer or his son that was killed in cold blood someone would be in jail.but this is floyd co and we the people here know that it is who you know in the court house that gets you by with a crime here..if that were my son they killed i would head straight to frankfort ky..if he would have robbed a bank they would never had killed him.they would have made sure he went to prison.and they say the officers may need conseling ..shhh they will never lose a min sleep.this is there way of getting by with it..but once again this is floyd co..i would go to my grave to see that they paid for my sons death.to the family that loss there son..my heart goes out to you all.they would have to kill me like they did him if that were my son.get a lawyer out of this area.make them suffer like he did..but beleave this they will get by with it cause there in floyd co..
  • by Friend Location: Floyd Co. on Nov 3, 2008 at 08:22 AM
    To the former Officer: Since you are a former officer then you couldn't have either of them as a partner. I guess you can see the future and would have know you were about to get cut. You weren't there so do not judge them without knowing the exact details of what went on in that situation. DON'T judge until you've been there and in their shoes. BTW why are you a former officer.
  • by Just a girl Location: KY on Nov 3, 2008 at 07:24 AM
    My mouth literally fell open when I read the comment by Former Officer that was made on 11/2. Are you serious?? Just...wow. Where you fired from your job? Is that why there's so much hate behind your comment? I find it hard to believe you were an officer and yet you have such a low opinion for your brothers and their actions.
  • by k Location: martin on Nov 3, 2008 at 07:16 AM
    To former officer guess you dont remember your training if you had any. Reaction time, or did you atend class that day/
  • by concerned girl Location: maytown area on Nov 3, 2008 at 03:39 AM
    Dear Concerned: Do you have adequate training to do your job? Should we investigate your situation? Can you adequately judge and defuse a situation with a knife at your throat? Can you cast the first stone? On this day botgh officers had a Guardian Angel on their shoulder. Our families heart goes our to the poor man that lost his life. I have know Brian for most of his life. He has been a community service worker for most of his life and have been with him during many trials and tribulations during that life. He is a very compassinate person who has touched many lives which has had positive effect on many people. He may seem hard nosed to some of you but he is a very compassonate person. He will go anywhere when called upon, no matter what the situation. He will keep his feelings to himself and do his job the way he has been taught and trained(just like all law enforcement are) with out letting his feeling get in the way. Brian did what he had to do to save and protect lives.
  • by Former Officer Location: Ky on Nov 2, 2008 at 07:29 PM
    Both should be suspended six months for allowing an idiot to cut one of them in the first place. When the knife came out, bullets should have to! I for one would not want either one of them for a partner. I figure I would live longer.
  • by Current coworker Location: Martin on Nov 2, 2008 at 01:28 PM
    Dear Former Co-Worker.. You're right. Anyone who knows Sgt. Ratliff knows exactly what kind of person he is... He is kind, caring, empathetic, would do ANYTHING for ANYONE, never hesitates to go to a call even when he isn't on duty. You should think twice before you say anything negative about such a wonderful police officer. You may need him someday. I am so thankful that Trooper Whitaker and Sgt. Ratliff came out of this okay. My heart and prayers are with Mr. Rederick's family.
  • by Firefighter/EMT Location: FLOYD CO. on Nov 2, 2008 at 11:01 AM
    First thing my thoughts and prayers are with all parties involved in this tragic situation. I've known Sgt. Ratliff for more 20 years. I've worked with him in Firefighting,EMS, and Law enforcement. His training was conducted by the same people who train most of the law enforcement officers in this state. If his training is not adequate then no officers train is. Both Sgt. Ratliff and Tpr. Whitaker were only doing their jobs. Their lives were in danger and they reponded exactly how they were trained. It is tragic that Mr. Rederick had to die but, he did attack both officers with deadly force and they only had seconds to respond in the situation to protect their own lives and possibly lives of others. Guys if you are reading this you done the only thing you could do in that every so tragic situation. May GOD bless both of you and your families. Thoughts and prayers are also with the Rederick family. Brian and Isaac God speed with your recoveries.
  • by Floyd Co. Paramedic Location: Floyd co. on Nov 2, 2008 at 10:11 AM
    These officers were doing their job. Brian is a very good cop I have worked numerous scenes with him & he knows his job & does it very well. This man attacked him with intent to kill. You don't stab someone in the neck & not mean to kill.What if that had been some innocent person without a gun he attacked. They wouldn't have stood a chance. Brian put his life on the line to protect the community & did what he had to do to save his own life. God bless Brian & Trooper Whitaker, & the Rederick family.

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