Store owner attacked with hatchet; suspect arrested - WSMV Channel 4

Store owner attacked with hatchet; suspect arrested

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William McKinley Fields William McKinley Fields
HOPKINSVILLE, KY (WSMV) -

A popular shop owner is fighting for his life after suffering a devastating beating at the hands of a suspected robber.

Kenneth Gant Golladay, the owner of Country Boy Stores, was attacked with a hatchet yet somehow he managed to drive himself to the hospital.

The Country Boy Stores, located at the intersection of Gracey Herndon and Newstead roads, has been a fixture in Hopkinsville for more than 30 years, but now it's the scene of one of the worst crimes Christian County has seen in years.

"It was definitely violent. It was definitely a violent crime," said Capt. Chris Miller, with the Christian County Sheriff's Department.

Police said Golladay was working in his store Wednesday as he does every afternoon when a man walked in and tried to rob him.

But instead of a gun, detectives say he had a hatchet.

"It was basically a tactical hatchet. It's about a foot in length, black in color, with a blade on one end," Miller said.

After the attack, authorities say, not only did Golladay call 911, but he also drove himself some 10 miles to an emergency room at Jennie Stuart Medical Center.

Golladay was immediately transported by Life Flight to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, but before he left he gave investigators a description that would ultimately lead to a suspect.

Authorities then launched an all-out manhunt, spanning several counties. Within hours, William McKinley Fields, 27, of Cadiz, KY, was arrested in a Walmart parking lot in Murray, KY.  Authorities said Fields admitted his involvement.

"I never thought anything. He seemed perfectly fine," said roommate Austin Britt.

Britt said he and Fields had been roommates for six months, and he never suspected there was a problem.

"Not a single clue. I don't know what he was doing. I don't know what he was thinking, because honestly I thought he had it pretty good," Britt said.

Britt said Fields carried a tomahawk and was an avid gun collector. He also apparently had been in the market for a handgun and a bulletproof vest.

Detectives say that may have been a possible motive for the robbery. Fields allegedly stole some guns and military items from the store.

Fields is charged with attempted murder and first-degree robbery, and he was jailed in Christian County on a $100,000 bond.

Golladay's family has requested no information be released on his condition, but authorities said he sustained pretty serious head injuries.

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