Manhunt intensifies for fugitive in Kentucky, Tennessee

31 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

After week-long manhunt, Kentucky residents can ‘breathe easier’.

WHITE HOUSE, Tenn. (AP) — A Kentucky fugitive accused of shooting at police in two states was spotted again Thursday when he showed up at a house and asked for a ride. Police were using helicopters and thermal-imaging cameras to search a wooded area in Cumberland County, near where Cook allegedly shot at an officer over the weekend. Floyd Ray Cook, 62, was killed in south-central Kentucky after being confronted by state troopers and a federal marshal searching an embankment, a Kentucky state police spokesman, Billy Gregory, told the Associated Press.

The manhunt had shuttered schools and spanned Kentucky and Tennessee, as federal agencies joined with local and state police to search for a man they considered armed and dangerous. Cook, a convicted rapist and robber, has been on the run since Saturday afternoon, when authorities say he shot and wounded Algood, Tennessee, police Officer Ahscari Valencia during a traffic stop.

Sheriff Scott Daniels of Cumberland County said residents in the tight-knit community, who had been on edge and losing sleep, are relieved and now the children can go trick-or-treating without worry. “People can rest easy now. They know he’s not around here no more,” he said. “It’s been a long, long week and we’re all glad it’s over.” Convicted of rape in the 1970s, Cook was wanted in Marion County, Kentucky, for failing to comply with the sex offender registry, according to Sheriff Jimmy Clements.

He also has convictions for robbery, burglary, assault and riot, and is wanted in Hardin County on an indictment charging him with trafficking methamphetamine and tampering with evidence. Authorities believed they had located him late Wednesday after a car associated with Cook was spotted at a gas station in Tennessee, Tennessee Highway Patrol Lt. TBI spokesman Josh DeVine tells local media outlets the shooting in Hohenwald, about 80 miles southwest of Nashville, was first reported around 7:30 p.m. For that crime, he was sentenced to life at Eddyville State Penitentiary, but was paroled at some point before Dec. 7, 1978, when he was arrested again for second degree assault.

A marshal, believing Cook to be in the car, approached and the driver attempted to speed away, ramming two police cruisers and narrowly missing an officer on foot, the US marshals service said. DeVine says two Hohenwald police officers and two Lewis County sheriff’s deputies were responding to a robbery call at a residence, where the homeowner had been stabbed. On Thursday, June 16, 1988, Cook was one of eight inmates who escaped from Eddyville in what has been called, “The Great Escape of ’88.” Cook was apprehended near the prison, as were two others, while the remaining five escapees fled to Tennessee where they executed an elderly couple as part of their escape. Authorities described him as “armed, dangerous and desperate,” and schools in the area shut down for three days in the past week over concerns about the fugitive. They were charged after the nonprofit Mercy for Animals released a video in August that showed the couple killing chickens on their T & S farm by hitting them with a spiked stick.

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