HAZARD, Ky. -
A gunman firing into a vehicle killed two people and wounded a juvenile Tuesday as they sat in the parking lot of an eastern Kentucky community college.
The campus was locked down for more than an hour while police searched the two buildings of Hazard Community and Technical College in Hazard, Ky., to ensure there was no further danger before allowing students to leave, police told a news conference broadcast live on WYMT-TV's website.
College President Stephen Greiner said that at the time of the shooting, there were probably about 30 students on campus, which is based 90 miles southeast of Lexington, Ky.
Police recovered the weapon, a semiautomatic pistol, at the scene, and a man who walked into an office of the Kentucky State Police in Hazard and said he knew something about the shooting was being questioned as a suspect, Hazard Police Chief Minor Allen said. No charges had been filed and no other suspects had been identified at the time of the news conference, which was held about three hours after the shooting.
A male and female were already dead when police arrived about 6 p.m., Allen said. The wounded juvenile, a female, was taken to University of Kentucky Hospital, he said.
A hospital spokeswoman said she could not provide any information about the juvenile's condition without a name, which police did not release.
Allen said police believe the shooting may have been the result of a domestic dispute. He didn't know the relationship between the victims and the shooter.
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."
Classes had resumed Monday at the campus after the holiday break, according to the college's website, which also posted that there had been an incident and asked students to stay away from the main campus. The school called off classes for Wednesday.
“Our thoughts and sympathy are with the families of the victims of this tragedy,” said HCTC President Steve Greiner in a news release. “We are cooperating fully with the authorities and they have shared with us they do not believe the college was specifically targeted. Fortunately our staff was prepared and responded quickly to secure our campus buildings to limit the impact of this shooting. I am pleased with their response and I want to assure our students, staff and the community we will do all we can to maintain the safety and security of our college.”
The college's academic programs range from associate's degrees in arts and sciences to career-focused training in mining technology and heavy-equipment operation.