Kenton Officer Wounded In Shootout; Gunman Dead

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A Kenton police officer in the K9 unit has been wounded in a shootout.

Hardin County Sheriff Keith Everhart says around 5:00 p.m., Kenton police officers responded to a dispute call in town.

The suspect, 47-year-old Kenton resident Stephen Davis, was reported to have been sitting with a gun in a vehicle in front of a Kenton residence.

When officers approached the vehicle, Davis left the scene after briefly exiting the vehicle and firing a single shot at the officers. A chase ensued and Sheriff Everhart says his deputies assisted. A couple miles later the chase temporarily ended at the intersection of County Road 106 and State Rt. 309.

"The suspect apparently stopped at that point, exited his vehicle and engaged the officers,” Everhart said.

That’s when Everhart says Newfer was wounded, struck twice in the back.

The suspect got back in his car and sped off, according to Everhart.  He says one deputy took Newfer to Hardin Memorial Hospital, while the other deputy chased Davis.

“Again, stopping one or two times in the meantime and firing on my deputy,” Everhart said. “My deputy did return fire.”

Sheriff Everhart says it's unclear how many bullets were fired, but says Davis was shooting a long rifle.

Two or three miles later, Everhart says Davis crashed on County Road 106, where he died.

“At this point, I do not know if [Davis] was struck by my officer, Kenton officers, [or] himself, but it does appear that he was shot,” he said.

Everhart says he was with Officer Newfer at the hospital and helped take off his equipment, like the bullet proof vest he was wearing, before Newfer was taken by helicopter to Grant Medical Center in Columbus.

According to Newfer's mother, who is in the hospital with her son, Officer Newfer is in "good condition."

Kenton Police Chief Dennis Musser confirms to 10TV Officer Newfer was shot twice during the shootout with Stephen Davis, however he would not specify where he was hit. 

Musser says his officer is in "good spirits" and thanks the Columbus Police Department for its support, saying Columbus police have offered its help, if needed.

Davis is a former dog warden in Hardin County.  He served jail time after pleading guilty in a 2009 case to complicity to tampering with records, falsification and disorderly conduct.