A rapist who was the target of a six-day manhunt after allegedly shooting a Tennessee cop was killed by police early Friday in what officials described as a “scary” conclusion.
Floyd Ray Cook, 62, was fatally shot near Burkesville, Kentucky, after being traced to a wooded area with the help of a police helicopter’s thermal camera.
Law enforcement agents converged on a building in the hunt for Cook, who was accused of shooting a Tennessee police officer during a traffic stop on Saturday.
Kentucky State Police Trooper Billy Gregory said two colleagues and a U.S. Marshal encountered the fugitive on an embankment near Kentucky Route 61 about seven miles south of Burkesville.
“Cook had a handgun and gunfire was exchanged,” Gregory said. “Cook was wounded and was pronounced dead at the scene. No officers were injured.”
Earlier, Cook approached a home in Cumberland County near the Tennessee border at around 2:40 p.m. local time (3:40 p.m. ET) and asked for a ride, but the couple refused and called police, Gregory said.
Investigators had described Cook as “armed and dangerous” and he was close to a residence when finally caught, Gregory said.
“Tonight was a scary moment. We didn’t know where he was, he could have been hiding in a tree, around a tree, in a bush or what have you. We are just grateful that no-one else was injured.”
Cook was wanted on felony warrants out of Kentucky and for attempted murder of an officer after allegedly shooting Officer Ahscari Valencia once in the chest on Saturday in Tennessee. Valencia survived and has since been released from the hospital.
Two “dangerous” acquaintances of Cook, Katy McCarty, 35, and Troy Wayne, 50, were detained Wednesday night and being questioned following a chase and search in the woods.
“I can speak entirely for the community that we are relieved the manhunt has finally come to an end,” said John Phelps Jr., Cumberland County judge/executive. “Everyone has been on edge, not knowing where he might be, not knowing where he was at. He seemed to be a very elusive character.”
Gregory thanked the community for providing tips that helped narrow the search.
“It definitely should be notes that we’ve been getting information from all kinds of sources,” he told reporters. Without that information, “we’d still be combing the entire state of Kentucky.”
He said investigators were “a little bit surprised” at Cook’s apparent resourcefulness “given his age.”
“I don’t know what resources he had available to him, we may not ever know,” he said.
Phelps said the manhunt had been “tragic” and “scary” for the local community.
“We’re a very close-knit community … country folk. We’re not accustomed to seeing those kinds of things happening here,” he said. “It all that’s been talked about since Saturday evening. It’s been very nerve-wracking, everyone wants to carry on with normal lives.
Phelps added: “We’re thankful that it’s over. We’re ready to move on.”