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Sheriff Shot Dead at Rally in Ky.

April 14, 2002

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SOMERSET, Ky. (AP) _ A county sheriff was shot and killed Saturday during a political rally, state police said.

Pulaski County Sheriff Sam Catron was shot about 7:15 p.m. at the rally and fish fry, Trooper Craig Sutton said. A suspect was in custody but no other information was immediately available, Sutton said.

Catron appeared on a segment of ``America’s Most Wanted″ that aired Saturday about Steve Anderson, a former Kentucky State Militia member who once hosted a shortwave radio show on which he made inflammatory comments about the government, blacks, Jews and immigrants.

Anderson fled into the mountains on Oct. 14 after firing at a Bell County sheriff’s deputy’s cruiser.

Catron, who had been sheriff since 1986, was running for a fifth term.

Former Pulaski County sheriff John Adams, who hired Catron as a deputy in 1974, said Catron’s death was ``probably the most devastating thing to happen in my life.″

``He’s the best deputy I ever had,″ he said.

Adams said Catron was attending an annual fish fry held by the Pulaski County Fire Department near Staab, a community about 80 miles south of Lexington.

Catron and his challenger in the 1998 Republican primary election tied after three vote counts, and Catron won by a coin toss prescribed under state law.

His opponent filed a lawsuit that voided the election because of irregularities, and GOP election officials finally nominated Catron.

Somerset is about 80 miles south of Lexington.

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