Kentucky shooting spree kills five: ‘One of the most disturbing acts of violence I have ever seen’

A man murdered four people and then killed himself in rural Kentucky on Saturday in what the local sheriff said was one of the most disturbing cases he’s ever encountered, the Lexington Herald Leader reports.

“This has been a horrific murder spree,” Johnson County Sheriff Dwayne Price wrote in a Facebook post on Saturday.

The alleged shooter, Joseph Nickell, fatally shot a man and a woman at a home and then traveled to an apartment where he killed two women, WLEX-TV reports. He later turned the gun on himself.

Authorities reportedly got a 911 call at 3:33 p.m. Saturday about the first shooting. When officers arrived at the home, they found two people dead in the kitchen.

A witness at the scene told investigators that Nickell escaped in a black Toyota Camry, prompting police to be on the lookout for the vehicle.

In the course of that search, a 911 call was made reporting that Nickell’s vehicle was spotted on a street in Paintsville, Kentucky. As officers searched an apartment complex near the vehicle, they discovered two more people who were shot and killed.

Nickell was also in the apartment and had a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the newspaper reports.

As of Sunday morning, the names of the victims had not yet been released. Authorities were working to notify victims’ family members about what happened.

Price said the Kentucky State Police is assisting in the investigation.

“There are no words to describe the heartbreak in seeing four lives taken due to the actions of one man,” Price wrote in the Facebook post.

“I have worked in law enforcement for 34 years. This is one of the most disturbing acts of violence I have ever seen.”


[Feature image: Facebook/Johnson County Sheriff vehicles at the scene]