CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. — A suspect is at large after a police officer in Kentucky was shot and killed Thursday evening, authorities say.

The Kentucky State Police identified the deceased officer as Phillip Meacham, 38, who has worked for the Hopkinsville Police Department since May 2017.

According to Hopkinsville police, at 5:10 p.m. CT, the off-duty officer was driving in his personal vehicle when a man “pretending to be a police officer” pulled over the cop’s car.

Police haven’t specified what transpired, other than to say “shortly after that,” Meacham was fatally shot, the department said in a news release.

More: Police: Fake cop tried to pull over off-duty officer

Meacham was transported to Jennie Stuart Medical Center in Hopkinsville, where he died.

Authorities are searching for James Kennith Decoursey, 35, who they say he stole a white Chevrolet pickup truck with license plate number 2070GH and fled the scene. They’re unsure whether he is still in the vehicle.

Authorities say Decoursey should be considered armed and dangerous.

Meacham, who worked roughly 12 years at the Christian County Sheriff’s Office prior to beginning at Hopkinsville, is also a native of the city. He leaves behind a wife and two children.

Kyle Spurlin, public information officer for the Hopkinsville Police Department, said the Kentucky State Police has now taken over the investigation.

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, along with other state officials, took to Twitter to mourn the death of Meacham.

“There is no greater sacrifice than that of a person willing to lay down their life for another… Thank God for the #ThinBlueLine,” Bevin tweeted.

Follow Natalie Allison on Twitter: @natalie_allison

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