JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (AP) — A 79-year-old suspected drunken driver shot a state trooper in the head as the officer tried to handcuff him during a traffic stop in southern Indiana, police said.
The bullet skimmed the top of Trooper Morgenn Evans’ head Tuesday night in the city of Jeffersonville, state police Sgt. Jerry Goodin said Wednesday. Evans was released after being treated at the University of Louisville Hospital in Kentucky and could soon return to duty.
“The smallest measure you can have either way, it could have been a fatal shot to him,” Goodin said. “He’s very, very fortunate.”
A judge set bail at $1 million for Oscar Kays during a Wednesday court hearing after he was charged with attempted murder. When reporters asked Kays after the court hearing what happened the night before, he replied, “Well, I think I crossed the line.”
Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull said the high bond was justified because Kays could be a danger to law enforcement.
“This is a man who tried to kill a state trooper,” Mull said after the hearing. “He has no business being out in the street.”
The trooper had stopped Hays for driving left of center and was trying to take him in for a breath test on suspicion of drunken driving when they scuffled and Kays pulled out a small gun, Goodin said. Evans fired at Kays as the man fled in his pickup truck and briefly chased him before losing sight of the vehicle.
Other officers tracked Kays down at his Jeffersonville home where he came outside with a long gun before surrendering, Goodin said.
Kays was treated at a hospital for injuries from the confrontation and had a large bandage around his left forearm during the court hearing.
Goodin said Kays was not known to area police agencies before the shooting.
Kays told investigators he shot the trooper because “he didn’t want to go to jail,” Goodin said. “He said he didn’t think it was wrong, that he wanted to be able to drink a couple of beers and not get in trouble.”
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