Hopkinsville police officer shot during pursuit; four in custody

Posted at 4:02 AM, Feb 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-19 13:58:59-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Four people were arrested after a Hopkinsville police officer was shot during a pursuit.

According to officials with the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office and Hopkinsville Police Department, four suspects were arrested and charged in the case. One of the suspects was taken into custody in the 2900 block of Highway 48/13.

Keith Allen Kuzyk, 28, was spotted by police in his vehicle near Zinc Plant Road. He was apprehended by police after a brief pursuit through several roads in the area. Spike strips were used bring his vehicle to a stop.

Three others were also arrested in the case, 24-year-old September Neblett, 25-year-old Autumn Neblett, and 19-year-old Anthony Johnson.

Hopkinsville police said the ordeal began around 1 a.m. Monday when officers began investigating a robbery at a Walmart on Clinic Drive.

An officer found an SUV matching the description of the suspect vehicle and tried to pull them over near Canton Street.

The driver fled, prompting authorities to deploy spike strips on North Drive near Freedom Elementary School.

Shortly after that, shots were fired from the suspect vehicle – striking Officer Jeremy Davidson in the head and arm region.

Officer Davidson was taken to Skyline Medical Center, where’s he’s listed in stable condition.

When asked what the public could do to help, Police Chief Clayton Sumner said, “Pray. If that’s your thing and you believe in that, we’ll take all you can give us.”

The robbery victim told police she was robbed by masked men armed with a gun in a dark-colored Dodge vehicle.

The suspects reportedly took the woman’s Chevrolet Tahoe and hit her friend in the face.

A second vehicle that was believed to be involved in the robbery was located by police a short time after the shooting. Officers pursued the vehicle to Clarksville but lost contact with it.

Both vehicles have since been recovered.

A Hopkinsville police spokesperson said they did find a man hiding in a school dugout with an AR-15 style weapon, but could not elaborate if the person will face charges. However, he said there are at least two arrest warrants that have been issued.

Chief Sumner says he doesn’t believe the public is at risk, adding that it’s “a case of a coward trying to get away.”

Police believe at least two more suspects may be involved in the case. The investigation remains ongoing.

Records showed Kuzyk has a violent criminal post with a conviction to attempted criminal negligent homicide in 2011. NewsChannel 5 also covered a chase on Highway 48 in 2011 when Kuzyk fired shots at deputies who had warrants on him.

He faces several charges including attempted murder of a police officer, Wanton Endagerment -1st Deg-Police Officer, Wanton Endangerment 1st Deg, Robbery 1st Deg, Assault 2nd Deg, Poss of Handgun by Convicted Felon and others.

September Neblett was charged with Receiving Stolen Property U/$10,000 and Robbery 1st Deg (Complicity), and Autumn Neblett was charged with Robbery 1st Deg, Poss of Firearm by Convicted Felon and Receiving Stolen Property.

Johnson was charged with Robbery 1st Deg, Fleeing or Evading Police 1st Degree, and Receiving Stolen Property.

The incident comes nearly a year after Officer Phillip Meacham was killed in Hopkinsville by a man pretending to be a police officer. Hopkinsville Mayor Carter Hendricks said this is a time to be reminded of the dangerous responders face and asks for prayers from the community.

"They can never really know when that danger is going to find them," Hendricks said. "Unfortunately, this is a harsh reminder that our law enforcement officials are willing to sacrifice up to their lives."