20-year-old girl Caitlin Cornett and 53-year-old Jackie Cornett, her uncle, from Knott and Perry County, Kentucky, lost their lives in a shooting at a local community college, yesterday.The killings took place on Tuesday, January 15, at Hazard Community and Technical College, in a parking lot. Hazard Assistant Chief Joe Engle tells reporters that shots were fired at approximately 6 p.m.
Police Chief Minor Allen, of Hazard, describes that the incident “could be related to a domestic-type situation” which was “not related to the school in any way.”
A third person was injured in the shootout. She is a yet unnamed teenage girl, and has suffered possibly life-threatening wounds. She has been transported to University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital for treatment, The State South Carolina reports.
21-year-old Dalton Stidham has been charged with 2 counts of murder, attempted murder, and one domestic violence-related count. He came forward to the Kentucky State Police and confessed to the crimes.
It is likely that all the victims were related. Stidham and Cornett had a child together, and had met in the parking lot for visitation purposes. The child was in the lot when the shooting occurred, but has not been wounded.
“There were no witnesses in the buildings. […] Of course, it’s a tragedy and they still can’t believe it would happen on our campus,” Campus President Stephen Greiner states.
“We’re going to slowly and methodically work this,” police said. Vehicles in the lot are to be thoroughly searched. One of the victims was found inside a car, when police arrived.
A lockdown was instated on the spot, with students and teachers able to leave school after 7 p.m. No classes will be held on campus on Wednesday, until a preliminary crime scene investigation is concluded.