At approximately 11:40 a.m. on Monday, June 12, Deputies Claude Hudson and Keith “Buster” Liford arrived at a mobile home on State Highway 225, just past Gravy Branch Road, to serve an indictment warrant to John W. Bays, 50. When deputies attempted to make contact with Bays, both deputies Liford and Hudson were shot.
“The selfish act of the suspect put the lives of our deputies in danger,” said Knox County Sheriff Mike Smith. “The deputies’ experience and training enabled them to return fire on the suspect.”
Kentucky State Police were called to assist at the scene. Knox County EMS transported both deputies to Barbourville ARH where Deputy Hudson was kept in stable condition and later released. Deputy Liford was air lifted to University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville, where he underwent surgery Monday afternoon and is expected to make a full recovery.
Deputy Hudson’s vest and badge kept the bullet from penetrating his skin, while Deputy Liford was shot multiple times.
Bays had several prior offenses including theft, criminal mischief, fleeing or evading police, and multiple drug related offenses.
“We want to thank the community for its outpouring of support and prayers today,” said Sheriff Smith. “We are grateful for everyone that came out to help us.”
KSP also arrested Brian Simpson during the incident. Simpson had active warrants for his arrest.
Assisting at the scene were Kentucky State Police, Barbourville Police Department, Knox County EMS, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife, and several volunteer firemen.