Scott County deputy killed during traffic stop Monday

Published 1:30 pm Wednesday, May 24, 2023

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The man who allegedly shot and killed Scott County sheriff’s deputy Caleb Conley on Monday is lodged in the Fayette County Detention Center facing a litany of charges.

Steven Sheangshang, 45, was charged with murder of a police officer, wanton endangerment, evading police, first-degree assault, first-degree robbery, three counts of burglary, two counts of possessing a handgun as a convicted felon and evidence tampering, according to jail records.

Conley, 35, died after being shot during a traffic stop on I-75 around 5 p.m. Sheangshang fired the gun while the deputy was approaching his car. The shooter fled the scene and forced his way into a home where he pointed a gun at the homeowner and stole a van, which he drove to Lexington.

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About an hour after Conley was shot, officers in Lexington were dispatched to a shooting on Georgetown Road and found a male victim who said another man shot him and stole his vehicle, according to police.

Police said they used a license plate reader system, traffic cameras and other information to locate the stolen vehicle and then found the suspect at a nearby home. They also found a gun in the trash can.

Sheangshang was named Bluegrass Crime Stoppers wanted person of the week May 18. Police said he burglarized a garage and was additionally arrested on two burglary warrants.

He was booked into the jail early Tuesday morning and arraigned Wednesday.

Conley was shot just before 5 p.m. Monday near the 127-mile marker on southbound I-75, according to Scott County Sheriff Tony Hampton.

“We never want to see anything like this happen. The reality is we know it can, but when it does it’s hard,” said Hampton. “We’re going to need each other, lean on each other. We have to continue to do this job but we can’t forget him while we’re doing that.

“He was just a go-getter and loved his job and it is a shame it got cut short because he loved his job and he was so good at it,” Hampton said.

The sheriff said the department will need time to process what has happened. He said it was the first time in his tenure that a deputy had been killed in the line of duty. Conley was in the U.S. Army for eight years prior to joining the sheriff’s department. He leaves behind a wife and small children.

“He was out there today doing his job, and look what happened to him,” Hampton said. “A coward coming through our county on I-75 took his life, took him away from his family.”

Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, had a statement.

“Our hearts are broken at the senseless killing of Deputy Conley. This young man courageously served our nation, then came home to serve our community and build a life with those he loved,” Thayer said. “His death is a tragic reminder of the danger our law enforcement officers face each and every day as they protect and serve. We offer our condolences to his family as well as to his colleagues at the Scott County Sheriff’s Department as they mourn the death of a good man who wanted no more than to make this a better place.”