Friday, April 06, 2001

Grant Co. deputy wounded

Alleged attacker shot in gunfight

By Jim Hannah
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        WILLIAMSTOWN, Ky. — When a Grant County man called the sheriff's office at 3:15 a.m. Thursday to report a trespasser on his property, he didn't realize it was his cousin hiding from police.

        The incident, on the property of Jeffrey Link of Stewartsville Road, ended in a gunfight, with both a sheriff's deputy and his alleged attacker shot.

        Authorities say Gregory Link fled to his cousin's property after ramming the Silver Bullet Bar with his truck, and opened fire with a shotgun, striking Grant County Sheriff's Deputy Keith Newman, 25.

        Most of the blast's impact was absorbed by Deputy Newman's bullet-resistant vest.

        Deputy Walt Cooley returned fire, striking Gregory Link in the leg.

        Deputy Newman and Gregory Link were both in fair condition Thursday evening at University Hospital, a nursing supervisor said.

[photo] Kentucky State Police trooper Isaiah Hill keeps watch at the entrance to the lane where a Grant County deputy sheriff was shot.
(Patrick Reddy photo)
| ZOOM |
        Jeff Link, whose brother is Grant County Judge-executive Darrell Link, characterized the shooting as “just a bad ordeal.”

        The incident began at about 11 p.m. Wednesday at the Silver Bullet Bar in neighboring Harrison County, said Trooper Mike Keeney, spokesman for the Kentucky State Police.

        Gregory Link got into a fight at the bar, waved a shotgun around and rammed the building with his Chevy pickup, Trooper Keeney said. Police didn't know how much damage was done to the building, and a person who answered the phone at the bar would not answer questions.

        Witnesses, who described Gregory Link as intoxicated and violent, have said an argument broke out over a pool tournament not being played, Trooper Keeney said.

        State police from Post 6 in Dry Ridge were called to the bar and were looking for Gregory Link.

        More than four hours later and a county away, sheriff's deputies responded to the trespassing call at Jeff Link's ranch home on Ky. 36, east of Ky. 22.

        Police do not know Gregory Link's motive, but they say he opened fire.

        The last officer shot in Grant County was Trooper Gary S. Carey, now retired from the state police. He was shot in April 1978 by Eugene W. Gall Jr., convicted of murdering a 12-year-old Cincinnati girl before a federal appeals court overturned that conviction last year.

        Gregory Link will be charged with attempted murder and assault, both felonies that carry prison terms of 10-20 years each.

        He also faces less serious charges for the bar incident.

        Gregory Link's driver's license shows his address as Williamstown, Trooper Keeney said. Acquaintances, however, told police the has been living in the small Grant County community of Mason.


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