A gunman firing into a vehicle killed two people and wounded a juvenile Tuesday as they sat in the parking lot of Hazard Community and Technical College in Hazard.
The campus was locked down for more than an hour while police searched the two buildings of HCTC 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 28 miles north of Whitesburg.
Police recovered the weapon, a semiautomatic pistol, at the scene, Hazard Police Chief Minor Allen said. He said 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. The man had not been charged with a crime 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.
Police believe the shooting may have been the result of a domestic dispute, Allen said. He didn’t know the relationship between the victims and the shooter.
In a statement released late Tuesday, college officials said they did not think the school was specifi cally targeted or that any of the people involved in the shooting were either students or employees of the college.
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 defi- nitely 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.
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.