Identities released after deputy shoots, kills suspect - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Identities released after deputy shoots, kills suspect

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A heavy police presence was on the scene of the shooting Friday night. A heavy police presence was on the scene of the shooting Friday night.
The incident happened along KY 1192 near Magnolia. The incident happened along KY 1192 near Magnolia.
Crime tape marked the scene where the shooting happened. Crime tape marked the scene where the shooting happened.

LARUE COUNTY, KY (WAVE) – Kentucky State Police has released the names of a LaRue County sheriff's deputy and the suspect he shot and killed Friday night near Magnolia.

Thomas Ferguson, 38, of Magnolia led Deputy James Williamson, 24, on a ten-minute pursuit along KY 1192 before losing control of his vehicle, according to Trooper Norman Chaffins of KSP Post 4 in Elizabethtown.

Chaffins said the car came to rest facing Deputy Williamson, and Ferguson accelerated toward him.

"The deputy got out of the vehicle and approached the vehicle and as he approached the suspect's vehicle accelerated toward the deputy and the deputy fired shots into the car," Chaffins said.

Ferguson was shot in the head and later died at University of Louisville Hospital.

Police said alcohol was believed to have played a role in the chain of events on Friday night.

Chaffins said Ferguson had a lengthy criminal past and that Williamson is a two-year veteran of the LaRue County Sheriff's Department.

Ferguson's mother, Carolyn Chaudoyn, said she's still trying to make sense of what police say happened.

"I don't understand what was going through his head," she said. "I just don't understand what happened."

She said her son was turning his life around.

"He's just been having it rough, and we've been helping with bills and trying to take care of him and then something stupid like this happens. I don't understand it," Chaudoyn said.

Neighbors said they can't imagine Ferguson hurting anyone.

"If I needed a hand with anything, he'd help me out. As a matter of fact, whenever we'd go on vacation, he kept an eye on the house," said neighbor Roger Bowlds.

Investigators will analyze dash cam video of the pursuit and confrontation to determine whether the officer was justified in firing the shots to maintain safety.

"Anything can be a weapon, especially a 2,500 pound car coming at you; there's not much you can do," Chaffins said.

Copyright 2012 WAVE News. All rights reserved.

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