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Police Identify 4 Victims & Shooter in Kentucky Shootings

February 12, 2018


A pair of incidents in Johnson County, Ky has left 5 people dead.

Those dead are 4 victims and the alleged shooter.

Authorities with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office have issued the following release concerning today’s shootings:

At 1533 on Saturday, February 10, 2018, Paintsville 911 received a call concerning a shooting at McKenzie Branch. Upon receiving the call, 911 dispatch contacted Sheriff Price.

Sheriff Price responded to the call. Upon arrival at the residence in McKenzie Branch, Sheriff Price met with Deputies Fairchild and Mullins. It was discovered that two people had been shot and were deceased in the kitchen. Sheriff Price then notified KSP and requested a detective on scene. The suspect was not there, and a search needed to be coordinated.

According to a witness the perpetrator left the scene in a black Toyota Camry. Sheriff Price put a BOLO out on the Camry. Sheriff Price, Johnson County Deputies along with Paintsville PD and the Kentucky State Police began a coordinated search of possible locations. Other counties were also advised to be on alert. The suspect was to be considered armed and dangerous.

While canvassing the area, 911 received a tip that the subject’s vehicle was on Mill Street in Paintsville. All agencies responded and located the vehicle. Sheriff Price led a search of the apartment complex. An apartment was located that had the bodies of two additional victims and the preparator, Joseph Nickell. All three were deceased.

Sheriff Price stated, “This has been a horrific murder spree. The lives of four innocent victims were taken. The perpetrator then took his own life. 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.”

Sheriff Price further stated “We will continue to work this case in conjunction with the Kentucky State Police. I ask for prayers for the families.”

Sheriff Price concluded by saying, “In respect, for the victims, we are not releasing any names pending notification of families.”

JOHNSON COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT/WOWK) – Update: The Johnson County Coroner J.R. Frisby has released the names of the five people who died Saturday in a murder-suicide in Johnson County.

The names of the first two people killed were Arlene Nickell and Wayne Nickell who were the shooter’s parents.

The shooter has been identified as Joseph Nickell.

Joseph’s girlfriend Lindsay Vanhoose and her mother Patricia Vanhoose were also killed.

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