UNION, KY (FOX19) – - Big Bone Lick State Park reopened Friday after authorities suspended a search for a Maryland man who was reported by the Boone County Sheriff's Office as suicidal, armed and dangerous.
After over eight hours of searching, the decision was made to terminate search operations, according to a release from the sheriff's office.
Deputies initially responded to the park that has 62 campsites on Beaver Road for a report of shots fired just after 10 p.m. Thursday, reads a prepared statement from Major Tom Scheben, sheriff's spokesman.
When they arrived, they found a suspicious vehicle parked near a lake.
A registration check revealed the registered owner to be listed as 'Missing, possibly suicidal, and possibly armed with a gun" from Hagerstown, Maryland, according to Scheben. Authorities later identified his as David Rickerson.
State Park Rangers began conducting an immediate search of the area. Upon calling out the subject's name, three shots from a suspected firearm were fired in the general area.
Deputies were requested to assist the State Park Rangers, and multiple units responded.
Deputies immediately closed access to the park, and additionally secured the campground section of the park with multiple units.
After coordination with State Park Rangers, multiple campers voluntarily agreed to leave the premises for the evening, and deputies facilitated a secure exit.
A search of the suspect's car and immediate area near the vehicle to this point have not located the suspect, and the search remains ongoing Friday.
Deputies have coordinated with Boone County Emergency Management.
Area residents have been notified of the incident. Authorities made reverse 911 calls overnight to those who live within two miles of the park, dispatchers said.
Residents were advised to alert 911 if they see something or someone suspicious and not to approach the man.
The Boone County Sheriff's Department will supplement the Park Rangers with 24-hour patrols dedicated to Big Bone Lick State Park and the immediate area.