Officials Investigating Police Shooting In Pike County

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

Officers continue to investigate a police shooting in Pike County Thursday night that killed a robbery suspect, 26 year old John Michael Keen, and injured two troopers.

Officers say before John Michael Keen and Misty Damron ever got on U.S. 23, they robbed several businesses at gunpoint. Pikeville Police says the pair last robbed the Economy Drug around 8:30 Thursday night.

"Matched the same description of what was involved in our armed robberies," said Det. Phillip Reed with the Pikeville Police Department.

Officers say they caught them leaving and started chasing them down Town Mountain Road and later U.S. 119.

"Because they were going to a more populated area, they wanted to end the pursuit safely," said Trooper Ralph Lockard with the Kentucky State Police.

State Police put spike strips on the road to deflate the tires. They say the car made it onto U.S. 23 before it stopped. Once there, officers say Misty Damron got out of the car and surrendered. Officers say once she was out of the car, Keen tried to get in the driver's seat and police say he then reached for a gun, that's when officers started firing.

"At that particular time, the officers feared for their lives," Tpr. Lockard said.

Authorities say Keen was killed. Officers say both Trooper Chris Phillips and KVE Officer Keith Justice shot at him. Police say Trooper Phillips and Trooper Alfred Bunch suffered injuries from glass flying, but will be okay.

For those who knew Keen, they are surprised this happened.

"He was a fairly good guy. He just had an addiction that controlled him," said Paul Riley, friend of Keen's.

Police say Keen was no stranger to the law. He just got out of jail on December 24th.

Both Trooper Chris Phillips and KVW Officer Keith Justice are on administrative duty during the investigation. Misty Damron is in jail with several charges.

John Michael Keen also had a long history of arrests. From 2001 to 2006, jail records show he was arrested ten times on various charges including armed robbery and assault. Police say he just got out of jail five days ago. Jail records show he was serving time in connection with an armed robbery in October.

As for Misty Damron, this is her first criminal offense on record in Pike County.


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