2 killed in shooting in Ky. college parking lot

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HAZARD, Ky. (AP) — A gunman fired into a vehicle, killing a man and a woman and wounding a 12-year-old girl late Tuesday, and police have charged a 21-year-old with murder and attempted murder in the incident, blaming it on a domestic dispute.

The violence 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. The campus was closed Wednesday.

Hazard police Chief Minor Allen said Wednesday that Dalton Stidham, 21, was charged with two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.

Allen said the shooting resulted from a dispute between Stidham and the woman who was killed, 20-year-old Caitlin Cornett.

Allen identified the male victim as Cornett's uncle, Jackie Cornett, 53. He said the wounded girl was Jackie Cornett's daughter. She was in critical condition at noon Wednesday at Kentucky Children's Hospital, said Julie Phillips, a hospital spokeswoman.

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

Caitlin Cornett's sister, Brittany Cornett, told The Lexington Herald-Leader that Stidham and Caitlin Cornett had separated in October after a three-year relationship. Their son is 2 years old.

The boy was not injured in the shooting and was in the custody of social services workers, Brittany Cornett said.

College President Stephen Greiner said that at the time of the shooting, about 30 students were probably 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.

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

Jackie and Caitlin Cornett were already deceased 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."

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  • TRUE!

  • Why was there no EPO issued if this guy had violent tendencies? And if he had one, would it show up in the background check? If not, it should.

  • Many of the President' proposals may have prevented him from being able to buy the gun and commit this heinous act. I will bet that the people in the car and specifically his ex knew about his violent tendencies, which is probably why she had her uncle with her to provide some degree of protection, which may have been adequate if the shooter hadn't been armed. The fact that the guy targeted and shot the 12 year old who was in the back seat is reason enough to execute this guy.

  • If I understood correctly he just puchased this gun. There should be a cooling off period before you can take possession of a firearm. That may have prevented them from doing this.

  • But (at least according to this story) no one knew he was a "dangerous psychopath" until AFTER the shooting? How can a gun seller KNOW that a gun buyer will use it to kill people? I agree that, AFTER THE FACT, he seems like a "dangerous psychopath". But before his shooting spree, he had the same right to own a gun that you and I have.

  • I dunno, cause he is a dangerous psychopath who kills people with it because he didn't get his way? If that isn't immediately obvious to you, then I agree that maybe you are missing something...

  • Maybe I'm missing something... Why shouldn't he have had a gun (period)?

  • This man should have never had a gun...period. Gun violence is extremely prevalent in the United States, and women are more likely to be victims of gun violence than men. The rate of firearm homicide in the United States is nineteen times greater than in any other high-income nation. Firearms were the leading cause of violence-related deaths in individuals in the United States who are under age seventy from 1999 to 2007. For nonfatal violence in the United States from 2001 to 2009, there were 456,211 individuals injured by firearms, of whom approximately 47,300 were women. According to the Violence Policy Center (VPC) report When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2007 Homicide Data, 91% of murdered women were killed by someone they knew. Furthermore, 62% of murdered women were killed by men with whom they had an intimate relationship at one point in their lives.