06/13/2012

W.Va. officer shot, vest stops bullet

Oak Hill Sgt. Lee Kirk was struck with one round in the lower abdomen

By PoliceOne Staff

OAK HILL, W.Va. — An Oak Hill police officer who was wearing his body armor survived an early-morning shooting Wednesday.

Sgt. Lee Kirk was shot as he responded to a call of an audible alarm at Maple Court Apartments around 1 a.m., The Register-Herald reported. He was attempting to make contact with an individual in the area when he was shot.

"The individual turned and fired one round from a small caliber handgun, which struck Sgt. Kirk in the lower abdomen," Fayette County Sheriff's Captain Jim Sizemore said. "The bullet was stopped by his bullet-proof vest."

Kirk was admitted to the Plateau Regional Medical Center in Oak Hill and later released. His injuries were minor, thanks to the vest.

"They do save lives," Sizemore said.

The suspect remains at large and is reportedly armed with a handgun or a .25 caliber semi-automatic pistol.

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