Man at center of manhunt in Harrison Co. captured
HARRISON COUNTY, Ky. - Harrison County Sheriff's deputies have captured a person of interest in their investigation of shots being fired at a helicopter in Harrison County.
The Harrison County Sheriff's Office identified that man as Thomas Field VanMeter. They captured him on Tuesday morning near the area of White Oak Pike where they spent hours searching for him on Monday.
The Harrison County Sheriff says his department initially went to VanMeter's home on Monday after a relative asked them to check on him. He said during that check, VanMeter fired shots at a Kentucky Utilities' helicopter and at deputies.
A bullet hit the helicopter, but the pilot was able to land safely nearby. Police got to the two people on board to get them out of the area. The gunfire also struck a sheriff's department truck. The sheriff says three deputies were shot at by the suspect, but none were injured.
Deputies executed a search warrant at VanMeter's house, but he was not there. Police did confiscate weapons and ammunition from the home.
Multiple police agencies helped search for the shooter. KSP say they set up a perimeter in the area, closing off several roads, but were not able to find the shooter.
Harrison County Schools placed all schools on lockdown on Monday afternoon because of the incident. The school system did not release any students until police gave the all-clear. Harrison County Schools announced late Monday night they would be closed on Tuesday due to safety concerns.
Sheriff Shain Stephens said that on Tuesday morning, someone spotted VanMeter riding a dirt bike near his home.
"He came up the ridgeline on a dirt bike and we were able to take him into custody without incident," Sheriff Stephens said. "Obviously, we feel confident that this is the guy that shot many rounds at deputies yesterday, my deputies in particular. So very serious critical incident and really couldn't have ended any better than it did."