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Princeton police chief kills suspected bank robber

BY ANDREA MOORE amoore@paducahsun.com

The Princeton chief of police fatally shot a bank robbery suspect inside Planters Bank in Princeton on Friday morning. 

Chief Don Weedman shot and killed James E. Hamm, 67, of Princeton, after Hamm entered the bank shortly after 8:30 a.m. carrying a tool bag in one hand and a handgun in the other, according to Kentucky State Trooper Stu Recke.  

Weedman was inside the North Jefferson Street bank in uniform when Hamm entered wearing a stocking over his face, Recke said.  

According to Recke, Weedman instructed Hamm to relinquish his weapon, but Hamm ignored his commands, turned toward Weedman and fired his handgun.  

Weedman was not injured and returned fire, fatally wounding Hamm.  

"There were six to seven people in the bank, and no other injuries were reported," Recke said.

Preliminary autopsy results from the State Medical Examiner's Office in Madisonville released Friday indicate Hamm died of multiple gunshot wounds.

Weedman has been placed on paid, administration leave.

The bank had been robbed by a man at almost the same time in the morning only two days before. According to state police, there is evidence that ties Hamm to the Wednesday robbery. 

Kentucky State Police Sgt. Derek Smith is continuing the investigation.  Kentucky State Police Post 2 units, the Princeton Police Department, the Caldwell County Sheriff's Department and the Caldwell County Coroner's Office assisted at the scene.

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