TFC Jay Thomas
Public Affairs Officer
Kentucky State Police
Post 1, Mayfield
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Pursuit and Death Investigation by KSP
Date of News Release: 05/21/2011
(Paducah, Ky.) -- A Paducah man is dead after a vehicle pursuit in Marshall and McCracken County. Marshall County Sheriff's deputies received information Saturday afternoon that 43-year-old Randall Strickland had multiple warrants for his arrest and was in the Possum Trot area of Marshall County. Deputies were also told that he was driving a stolen Pontiac SUV. Deputies confirmed that Strickland was wanted for theft and failure to appear to court. They also confirmed that the vehicle he was operating was stolen in March from Royal Oaks Chevrolet in Paducah. At approximately 4:30 PM, Marshall County Sheriff's deputies, Cory Curtner and Jeff Daniel, spotted the Pontiac on US 62 in Possum Trot. The Pontiac immediately turned around in front of deputies and began fleeing west on US 62 towards McCracken County. As Marshall County deputies pursued the vehicle into McCracken County, the suspect produced a handgun from his vehicle and fired at least one shot towards deputies Curtner and Daniel. The pursuit continued west on US 62 where a Kentucky State Police Sergeant was stationed nearby. Kentucky State Police utilized a tire deflation device on US 62 approximately 2 miles west of US 68. The device was successful in partially disabling the vehicle, however; it continued to flee officers traveling west toward the city limits of Paducah. A short time later, McCracken County Deputy, Sarah Preston, spotted the stolen Pontiac as she traveled east on US 62 near the Clarks River Bridge. Deputy Preston began to slow her vehicle in an attempt to partially block the westbound lanes when the suspect again produced a handgun and fired multiple times at the deputy's patrol vehicle. One round struck the light bar just above the head of Deputy Preston.
Seconds later, the suspect's vehicle traveled off of US 62 and collided with the median. Officers surrounded the vehicle but were unable to get Strickland to respond to verbal commands. As officers approached the vehicle they found Strickland unresponsive with an apparent self inflicted gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead at the scene by the McCracken County Coroner. Kentucky State Police are conducting a death investigation. An autopsy is scheduled to be performed on Sunday. Kentucky State Police was assisted at the scene by the McCracken County Sheriff's Office, Marshall County Sheriff's Office, Livingston County Sheriff's Office, and the McCracken County Coroner's Office. McCracken County DES and Rescue also assisted. The investigation is continuing by Detective Kyle Nall with the Kentucky State Police.