CLAY CITY, Ky. (AP) _ A small-town police chief was fatally shot Wednesday by a man being driven to jail on a charge of driving under the influence, authorities said.
A county judge-executive said earlier that Chief Randy Lacy, 55, was shot from the back seat of his cruiser, but authorities at a news conference did not confirm that.
``It's a terrible tragedy. I can't tell the family how sorry I am for their loss,'' Clay City Mayor Jimmy Caudill said.
Lacy, 55, had been police chief of this town of 1,300 in the Appalachian foothills since 2004. He began serving in law enforcement in 1985.
Charges were pending against Jamie Barnett, 37, state police spokesman Phil Crumpton said. It wasn't clear whether the suspect had a lawyer.
Garland Lacy, the police chief's brother, said that he learned about the shooting while listening to a police scanner and that his brother was dead by the time he reached the scene.
``He was respected by all the police officers, and he was even loved by the people he was putting in jail,'' said Garland Lacy, a court bailiff and sheriff's chaplain.
Barnett has a long criminal history, according to records from the Powell County Circuit Court Clerk's office.
He was charged with assaulting a police officer in 1994, according to the records. In April, he was charged with driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident and disorderly conduct, court records said. Records also show the April 9 drunken driving arrest was his second such offense.
It was at least the second fatal shooting involving law enforcement officers in Powell County. Sheriff Steve Bennett and deputy Arthur Briscoe were killed while trying to arrest a man in 1992. The shooter was convicted and is now on Kentucky's death row.