HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT)- 6:00 PM Report:
Folks in Hazard including those at a busy restaurant stopped everything Wednesday night at 5:45. It was the time one year ago when everything changed in an instant for one Perry County family. Three lives were lost when a gunman opened fire in the parking lot of Hazard Community and Technical College.
Today Hazard's police chief as well the president at HCTC sat down with us to talk about the shooting. Both men say the shooting on the college campus last year was their worst nightmare, but given the situation are very proud of how their groups reacted. Both say many lessons have been learned.
It went down as one of the worst shootings in Hazard's history. Hazard Police Chief Minor Allen said, ”You always hope that you live in a community that something like that would never happen in, but it did. When that call came in, it was just like, uhh it just pretty much floored everybody that that's happening here, it's happening now.”
12 year old Taylor, her father Jackie and her cousin Caitlin Cornett were all killed when police say the father of Caitlin's child opened fire during a custody exchange.
HCTC was immediately put on lockdown.. A procedure President Doctor Stephen Griener says they've been trained to do. He said, “We felt it was necessary to train our employees on how to react. Becase, even though we can't prevent things from happening, the training helps us understand how to protect ourselves in this situation.”
Since the shooting, Hazard City Police and HCTC have made changes to be more prepared for these situations.
Chief Allen said, “We have an evidence collection team now that practices routinely on collection and preservation of evidence.”
President Griener noted, “We have five campus sites, and we are working with the different law enforcement offices at those sites for additional training.”
And a community remembers three lives… taken too soon.
The man police say is responsible in that shooting, 21 year old Dalton Stidham, sits behind bars tonight, he is set to go on trial in May.
One year ago today Hazard made national headlines when a man opened fire in the parking lot of Hazard Community and Technical College, killing three people including a 12-year old girl.
The shooting at HCTC rocked not just the campus, but the region as well. 12 year old Taylor, her father Jackie, and her cousin Caitlin Cornett were all killed when police say the father of Caitlin's child opened fire during a custody exchange.
Hazard Police Chief Minor Allen says he's made some changes in the past year within his department to be able to handle these types of situations better. He told us, “We have an evidence collection team now that practices routinely on collection and preservation of evidence.
The accused shooter, 21 year old Dalton Stidham sits behind bars tonight waiting to go on trial in May. Coming up later tonight you will hear more from Chief Allen, as well as the President of HCTC.
There were no public memorial services planned to mark today's anniversary, but a close family friend of the Cornett family contacted us this afternoon. She is asking everyone to pause at 5:45 tonight, the exact moment the shootings occurred, and hold a moment of silence to remember the lives lost.
She also asks that you keep the family and their friends in your prayers.