Suspect in killing of Ky. police officer still on the loose

PIKEVILLE, Ky. -- A Kentucky police officer has been fatally shot while on duty, and state police are handling it as a murder investigation.

CBS affiliate WYMT reports that Pikeville Officer Scotty Hamilton was killed Tuesday night as troopers were assisting Pikeville police on an investigation.

Kentucky State Police spokesman William Petry said authorities are still searching for a suspect in the shooting, although others who may have been on the scene at the time also are being questioned. 

Four people were arrested at the scene on unrelated charges, according to the station.

According to a statement released Wednesday afternoon by the Kentucky State Police, Officer Hamilton and Trooper Matt Martin were conducting a criminal patrol of Hurricane Creek when they encountered a suspicious vehicle. After speaking with the occupants of the vehicle, the officers separated to canvas the area around a nearby residence for possible subjects on foot. 

Gunshots were then fired within close proximity to the residence, said police. Trooper Martin found Officer Hamilton, who was pronounced dead on the scene.

"Scotty has been a proud officer of this police department since 2006," Pikeville Mayor Jimmy Carter told reporters Wednesday. "Please keep his family in your prayers." Officer Hamilton leaves behind a wife and baby girl.

Hamilton's body has been released from the state medical examiner's office, and is on its way back to eastern Kentucky.