01/16/2013

2 killed in shooting on Ky. college parking lot

A child was also injured in the shooting, which police believe stemmed from a domestic dispute

Associated Press

HAZARD, Ky. — A gunman who fired into a vehicle, killing a man and a woman and wounding a 12-year-old girl, has been charged with murder and attempted murder in a shooting police blamed on a domestic dispute.

The violence late Tuesday in a college parking lot locked down the campus for more than an hour as police searched the two buildings of Hazard Community and Technical College in Hazard, in southeast Kentucky, to ensure there was no further danger.

Hazard Police Chief Minor Allen said the shooting resulted from a dispute between the alleged gunman and a woman who was one of those killed, 20-year-old Caitlin Cornett.

Allen said Dalton Stidham, 21, was charged with two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.

Allen identified the male victim as Cornett's uncle, Jackie Cornett, 53. He said the wounded girl was Jackie Cornett's daughter, and that she remained in critical condition Wednesday morning at University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington.

Allen said Caitlin Cornett, who was a student at the college, and Stidham had a child together and had met to exchange custody of the child. Allen said police are still investigating what led up to the shooting.

College President Stephen Greiner said that at the time of the shooting, there were probably about 30 students on campus. He said college staff responded quickly to the shooting, securing campus buildings to limit the impact.

"Our thoughts and sympathy are with the families of the victims of this tragedy," he said.

The campus where the shooting took place was closed Wednesday as detectives continued investigating.

Police recovered the weapon, a semiautomatic pistol, at the scene, Allen said.

The man and woman were already dead when police arrived about 6 p.m., Allen said.

Conor Duff, the college's evening coordinator, said the outbreak of violence was startling.

"Everybody here's been pretty shook up," he said. "This is definitely something people around here are not used to. We have our fair share of problems, but normally this isn't one of them."

Copyright 2013 Associated Press

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