First sheriff's deputy in the county to be killed in the line of duty
A Scott County sheriff's deputy was shot and killed Monday during a traffic stop on the interstate near Georgetown, officials said.
Conley was shot just before 5 p.m. near the 127-mile marker on southbound I-75, according to Scott County Sheriff Tony Hampton.
The Scott County Sheriff's Office identified the deputy as Caleb Conley, who had been with the department for four years. He was in the U.S. Army eight years prior to joining the sheriff's force. Conley leaves behind a wife and small children.
The suspect is in custody, according to the Kentucky State Police. He was arrested by police in Lexington after shooting another person and stealing their car, according to WKYT.
Officers located the stolen vehicle on Whitney Avenue using information gathered from the Real Time Intelligence Center, Flock license plate reader system, and traffic cameras, and later apprehended the suspect, WKYT reported.
"We never want to see anything like this happen. The reality is we know it can, but when it does it's hard," said Hampton. "We're going to need each other, lean on each other. We have to continue to do this job but we can't forget him while we're doing that."
“He was just a go-getter and loved his job and it is a shame it got cut short because he loved his job and he was so good at it,” Hampton said.
The sheriff said the department will need time to process what has happened. He said it was the first time in his tenure that a deputy had been killed in the line of duty.
“He was out there today doing his job and look what happened to him,” Hampton said. “A coward coming through our county on I-75 took his life, took him away from his family.”
A post to the Sheriff’s Office Facebook page five days ago showed Conley and Hampton smiling as Conley was presented with a baseball bat and “another Highway Safety accolade."
Gov. Andy Beshear offered a statement via social media to the Conley family and Scott County law enforcement.
"Kentucky, please join Britainy and me in praying for the family and fellow law enforcement officers of Scott County Deputy Sheriff Caleb Conley, who was killed this evening while protecting our people," Beshear said. "This hero made the ultimate sacrifice, and we will be forever grateful."
Attorney General Daniel Cameron also offered a statement on social media.
"I am deeply saddened to learn that Scott County Deputy Sheriff Caleb Conley was shot and killed this evening," he said. "Makenze and I mourn the loss of this hero. Today's tragedy is yet another example of the grave dangers faced by our law officers. We pray for each of them tonight, for Caleb's family, and for all of Scott County."
Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, had a statement.
"Our hearts are broken at the senseless killing of Deputy Conley. This young man courageously served our nation, then came home to serve our community and build a life with those he loved," Thayer said. "His death is a tragic reminder of the danger our law enforcement officers face each and every day as they protect and serve. We offer our condolences to his family as well as to his colleagues at the Scott County Sheriff's Department as they mourn the death of a good man who wanted no more than to make this a better place."
A post on the Scott County Sheriff's Office Facebook page said the office would be closed Tuesday although more information on how to help will be released.
“We are receiving a much appreciated overwhelming outreach of support from our community and across the state. For the many asking how you can help his family and this office, we will be providing further details on that tomorrow. Our office will be closed tomorrow, Tuesday, 5/23,” the post stated.