A man who fatally shot a Kentucky sheriff’s deputy before being shot and killed by deputies who returned fire last month used a handgun that he had kept concealed after being arrested and taken to the sheriff’s office, state police said Friday.
Gary Rowland, 30, of Murray, had been arrested in Benton and taken to the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office, where he was being interviewed by Cash and Marshall County Sheriff’s Deputy Donald Bowman when he asked to smoke a cigarette, Kentucky State Police said in a news release Friday afternoon.
The deputies took Rowland outside, and “while smoking, Mr. Rowland produced a handgun, which had been concealed on his person, firing it in the direction of and striking Chief Deputy Cash,” state police said. “Deputy Bowman and Marshall County Sheriff’s Deputy Brandon Little utilized their agency-approved firearms to return fire, striking Mr. Rowland. On-scene personnel attempted life-saving measures for both Chief Deputy Cash and Mr. Rowland.”
State police said Cash and Rowland were taken by ambulance to Marshall County Hospital, where they were pronounced dead.
Rowland was arrested just after 1 p.m., and the shooting occurred at about 2:10 p.m., state police said.
He had been arrested by members of the Marshall County Special Response Team on warrants for “charges including absconding from parole and other drug and firearm-related crimes,” police said. Cash and Bowman, who were both part of a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force, were interviewing Rowland for an investigation that was not related to the outstanding warrants, according to state police.
Bowman and Little were both placed on administrative leave after the shooting.
Bowman has been in law enforcement for 27 years and has worked at the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office since 2019. Little has been in law enforcement for four years, all at the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office, state police said.
Cash spent 22 years in law enforcement. Before joining the Calloway County Sheriff’s Office in 2020, he spent eight years with the state police and had served as assistant chief of the Murray State University Police Department during six years there. He also spent six years at the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office.
The Kentucky State Police Critical Incident Response Team said it is continuing to investigate.