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Ironton woman shoots at officers, gets wounded

SOUTH SHORE, Ky. — An Ironton woman with previous criminal gun charges was hospitalized early Wednesday morning after shooting at police officers while she was being pursued and getting wounded after they returned fire.

The passenger in the car was arrested on multiple drug offenses.

The Kentucky State Police is investigating the shooting since it occurred in their jurisdiction.

The incident occurred just after 1 a.m. between the U.S. Grant Bridge and South Shore, Kentucky.

It began when a trooper from the Ohio State Highway Patrol attempted to pull over a vehicle on U.S. 23 north of Lucasville for having an illegible and obstructed license plate.

The driver fled the scene and as the OSHP pursued, shots were fired from the vehicle at troopers.

The Portsmouth Police Department joined the pursuit and when a police officer put down stop sticks near Kinneys Lane in Portsmouth, the car swerved towards the officer and someone in the car fired a shot at him.

The pursuit then went into Kentucky and shots were fired again, at the PPD officers.

PPD Captain Jason Hendrick said an officer fired a rifle through the windshield of his car and hit the driver of the vehicle, Amanda Ann Cochran, 31, of Ironton.

The pursuit came to an end when the PPD performed a legal intervention maneuver on U.S. 23 between the bridge and South Shore, Kentucky, at which time the driver and passenger were taken into custody without further incident.

The KSP investigation found Cochran had three active warrants in Kentucky and Ohio at the time of the attempted traffic stop.

Cochran was airlifted from the scene, and taken to St. Mary’s Medical Center in Huntington, West Virginia, with non-life threatening injuries. She was reported to be in stable condition.

She appeared in Cabell County Magistrate Court Wednesday morning for being a fugitive from justice. The case will be sent to Cabell County Circuit Court within a couple days for a hearing about being extradited to either Boyd County, Kentucky, where she has a contempt of court warrant, or Lawrence County, where she has a warrant for failure to appear in court.

Cochran was indicted in Lawrence County in July 2018 on charges of having a weapon under disability (which means that she was on probation and not allowed to have a gun), identity theft and improperly handling a firearm in a motor vehicle. At the time of her indictment, her address was given as Panama Beach, Florida.

The passenger, John Clifton Thomas Knotts, 34 of Pedro, was lodged in the Greenup County Detention Center and charged with two counts of convicted felon in possession of a handgun, possession of a controlled substance first degree (methamphetamine), trafficking in controlled substance first degree (methamphetamine), importing heroin, trafficking in controlled substance (heroin), possession of controlled substance first degree (heroin), trafficking in marijuana first degree felony and drug paraphernalia.

Hendrick said the officer that fired at Cochran and the officer who stopped the car were put on administrative paid leave for a couple of days so the officers could recover from the incident and for a review of the department’s use of force policy.

No law enforcement officers were injured during the pursuit.

This incident remains under investigation by Kentucky State Police Lt. Aaron Martin.