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Police search for evidence after officer was shot in the neck

Officer recovering after shooting; suspect in custody
Published: May. 2, 2022 at 5:42 AM EDT
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UPDATE 5/4/22 @ 4:30 p.m.

FLATWOODS, Ky. (WSAZ) - Kentucky State Police, along with other assisting agencies, combed the Flatwoods area, Wednesday searching for evidence in the shooting of Officer Tommy Robinson.

“We are on foot, we’re searching in the grass, in buildings, vacant houses. We’ve also deployed two drones. The Kentucky State Police had a drone and Ashland PD is using their drone, so we can look on roofs of houses and see if he threw anything on top of those,” said Trooper Shane Goodall.

Goodall says evidence was recovered, and there will be no more searching in the area.

“There was so much evidence that was taken in yesterday. We were trying to see if we could talk to Officer Robinson to see if he’d wake up, to see if we could get a better idea or understand of which way he fled after he shot the officer. Unfortunately, he is not awake so we could talk to him so we went ahead and started the investigation today,” he said.

Trooper Goodall told WSAZ that Officer Robinson had a second surgery to clean the wound, but he is in stable condition. He says they are hoping to take him off the ventilator Wednesday evening or Thursday.

Jonathan Smithers, who was arrested by KSP for the shooting of Officer Robinson, is being held in the Boyd County Detention Center. Police say he had outstanding warrants for child pornography from the Ashland Police Department.

“We went ahead and lodged him in the Boyd County Jail, so that gives us more time for thorough investigation, and we can get more warrants on him for an attempted murder on a police officer,” Goodall said. “It’s also for his safety to put it in Boyd County, where he injured a Greenup County officer, we put him in a Greenup County Jail. Some of the inmates there may put him at risk of getting injured.”

Smithers is expected to be in court Thursday morning.

UPDATE 5/2/22 @ 10:15 a.m.

FLATWOODS, Ky. (WSAZ) - A man accused of shooting a Flatwoods Police officer has been released from the hospital, arrested and now in the Boyd County Detention Center.

Kentucky State Police arrested Jonathan Smithers, 42, of Catlettsburg a little before 7:30...
Kentucky State Police arrested Jonathan Smithers, 42, of Catlettsburg a little before 7:30 Monday morning, five hours after a Flatwoods Police officer was shot.

Kentucky State Police arrested Jonathan Smithers, 42, of Catlettsburg a little before 7:30 Monday morning, five hours after a Flatwoods Police officer was shot.

Smithers has been charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana, fleeing and evading.

Greenup County Attorney Mike Wilson says more charges are likely to come later in the week.

Shooting suspect faces charges in Greenup and Boyd Counties

Wilson also confirms the officer who was shot in Flatwoods is Tom Robinson.

The shooting happened about 2:30 Monday morning in the 100 block of East Street in Flatwoods.

Jonathan Smithers was arrested Monday morning after an incident where an officer was shot,...
Jonathan Smithers was arrested Monday morning after an incident where an officer was shot, officials say.(Boyd County Detention Center)

Kentucky State Police say the Flatwoods Police Department officer was responding to a 911 call of a suspicious person at the time of the shooting

The officer was shot in the neck, officials say.

According to KSP, the officer is stable after undergoing surgery.

Smithers was spotted by a Kentucky State Trooper Monday morning near a Dollar General store after officers found Smithers walking in the area on a neighbor’s doorbell security camera.

Smithers caught on surveillance
Smithers caught on surveillance
(WSAZ)

Officials confirm the dispatcher on the other line Monday morning was the officer’s sister.

Monday, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear tweeted, “Britainy and I are praying for the Flatwoods police officer injured in the line of duty this morning. We are grateful for his bravery and we hope he makes a full recovery.”

Russell Independent Schools were closed Monday due to safety concerns.

Russell Independent Schools released the following statement:

“This morning at 4:10 a.m. the District was notified that a Flatwoods Police Officer had been shot and that the suspect had not been apprehended. All local law enforcement along with the Kentucky State Police began a search for the suspect who was considered armed and dangerous and was last seen in the area of Walnut Street in Flatwoods. At that time, I made the decision to close our campus for the day. The safety and security of our students and staff will continue to be our first priority. We would like to thank all local law enforcement for keeping our community safe. Please keep the wounded Flatwoods Officer in your thoughts and prayers,” said Superintending M. Sean Horne.

A GoFundMe has been set up for Officer Robinson. Tap here for more information.

Keep checking the WSAZ app for the latest information.

UPDATE 5/2/22 @ 7:34 a.m.

FLATWOODS, Ky. (WSAZ) - The man suspected of shooting a Flatwoods Police officer early Monday morning is in custody.

Kentucky State Police arrested Jonathan Smithers a little before 7:30 Monday morning, five hours after a Flatwoods Police officer was shot.

Smithers was spotted by a Kentucky State Trooper near a Dollar General store.

KSP says the officer who was shot remains stable after undergoing surgery.

ORIGINAL STORY 5/2/22 @ 5:15 a.m.

FLATWOODS, Ky. (WSAZ) - A Flatwoods, Ky. Police Officer has been shot, and a manhunt for the person who pulled the trigger is ongoing.

The shooting happened about 2:30 Monday morning in the 100 block of East St. in Flatwoods. Kentucky State Police say the Flatwoods Police Dept. Officer was responding to a 911 call of a suspicious person.

The officer was flown to the hospital. Kentucky State Police say the officer is stable after undergoing surgery.

Russell Ind. Schools are closed Monday due to safety concerns.

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