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Trooper Jody Sims
Public Affairs Officer
Kentucky State Police
Post 13, Hazard
(606) 435-6069
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Kentucky State Police Trooper Involved in Shooting in Breathitt County

Date of News Release: 08/02/2011

(Hazard, Ky.) -- On August 2, 2011 at approximately 10:00 p.m. Kentucky State Police in Hazard received a complaint of a possible stolen vehicle on Smith Branch in the Jackson community of Breathitt County.

Trooper Chris Hollon responded to the call and made contact with Earl Joseph Prater, age 42 of Jackson, who was outside in the yard.

Trooper Hollon spoke to Mr. Prater and noticed he was carrying an ax as he approached. Mr. Prater was told to put down the ax and he refused to comply with the officers commands.

Trooper Hollon then deployed his taser, but it was ineffective on the perpetrator. Prater hesitated and then dropped the ax and pulled out a large knife. He began to inflict injury upon himself. Again Trooper Hollon commanded the perpetrator to drop the knife, but he refused to cooperate.

Mr. Prater then pointed the knife at the trooper and lunged toward him. Trooper Hollon then fired his duty weapon at Prater. Mr. Prater received gunshot wounds and was transported to the Kentucky River Medical Center for treatment. The perpetrator was pronounced deceased at the hospital by the attending physician. Trooper Hollon received no injuries in the incident.

The body has been sent to the State Medical Examiners Office for an autopsy. The Investigation is continuing by Lt. Claude Little, Lt. Blake Slone, and Lt. Sean Welch with the Kentucky State Police.

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