Civitas News Service
HAZARD, Ky. – Two people were killed and another wounded Tuesday during a shooting at Hazard Community and Technical College, though police were quick to note that it does not appear to be a school-related incident.
Authorities arrived at the college’s First Federal Center at approximately 5:30 p.m. after a call was made reporting the shooting, Hazard Police Chief Minor Allen said during a press conference at Hazard City Hall Tuesday night.
“When my officers arrived, they found three victims in the parking lot, two of which were already deceased,” he said.
A female juvenile in the back seat of the vehicle was still alive when police arrived, and has been transported to the University of Kentucky Medical Center for treatment, though there is no word on her condition. The other victims were described as adults, one male and the other female. Police had not yet confirmed their identities, but Coroner Jimmy Maggard noted that their bodies are expected be sent to the state medical examiner’s office for an autopsy.
The shooting was contained in the parking lot at the college, and Allen said it appeared that the incident had nothing to do with the college itself, but possibly stemmed from a domestic dispute. The suspected shooter did not enter any of the buildings on campus, and shortly after leaving the scene turned himself in to the Kentucky State Police post in Hazard early Tuesday evening.
“It’s definitely not an active shooter situation involving the school in any way,” Allen explained earlier Tuesday evening. “It’s something that occurred off campus that just spilled into the parking lot of the school.”
No charges have been filed as of yet and the suspected shooter’s identity has not yet been released, but Allen said the suspect is cooperating with investigators and is currently being held at the Hazard Police Department for questioning.
A semi-automatic pistol believed to have been used in the shooting was recovered in the school’s parking lot, and authorities are expected to remain at the college for several more hours processing the scene and collecting any evidence.
“We’re going to slowly and methodically work this and make sure we cover all our bases,” Allen said.
The college immediately went into lock down in the moments following Tuesday’s shooting, said HCTC President Dr. Stephen Greiner, adding that all of the school’s protocols for this type of situation were followed.
“Our vice president of student services received the call from the front desk and immediately ordered a lock down on campus, and the campus buildings were locked,” Greiner said.
Police quickly secured the campus, and any students remaining in the First Federal Center afterward, about 30 in total, were able to leave about two hours later.
The Hazard campus of HCTC will be closed on Wednesday, and is expected to re-open Thursday morning.
In the meantime, police will continue the investigation overnight, Chief Allen said, which will include obtaining search warrants for several vehicles and possibly a residence.