Kentucky shooting victims include parents, girlfriend, girlfriend's mother

By Danielle Haynes

Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Law enforcement officials in Kentucky identified the four victims of a shooting spree as the two parents of the suspected gunman, his girlfriend and the girlfriend's mother.

The shootings took place Saturday afternoon at two locations in eastern Kentucky.


Police found the suspect's parents, Arlene Nickell and James Nickell, shot to death at their residence in McKenzie Branch. Also at that location was the suspect's son, who escaped the shooting and called 911.

Police launched a search for the suspect. Finding his vehicle in Paintsville about 10 miles away, officers searched an apartment complex there and found the bodies of his girlfriend, Lindsey Vanhoose, and her mother, Patricia Vanhoose.

Also at that location was the body of the suspected shooter, Joseph Nickell, who police said shot himself.

Kentucky State Police spokesman William Petry said Sunday investigators don't have a motive for the shootings.

"There's going to be a lot more investigation," he said.

"This has been a horrific murder spree," Johnson County Sheriff Dwayne Price said in a news release posted on the department's Facebook page Saturday. "There are no words to describe the heartbreak in seeing four lives taken due to the actions of one man. I have worked in law enforcement for 34 years. This is one of the most disturbing acts of violence I have ever seen."


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