In the relatively quiet town of Hazard, Kentucky, a shooting of any kind is shocking. For those who were on campus at Hazard Community and Technical College late on Tuesday night, it was a grim reality.
21-year old Dalton Stidham has been charged with two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder after shooting his ex-girlfriend, her uncle, and a 12-year old girl who was in the car with them. Stidham fired the shots into the car after meeting with Caitlin Cornett to arrange a custody agreement concerning the child they shared, killing her. Her uncle, 53-year old Jackie Cornett, was killed as well. The child is in serious condition at the University of Kentucky Medical Center.
“Everybody here’s been pretty shook up,” Connor Duff, who coordinates evening classes at the school, 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.”
The school’s president, Stephen Greiner, said the campus was locked down for over an hour to ensure the safety of the 30 or so students who were still attending class. And while the school doesn’t appear to have been a specific target for the shooter–police believe it was strictly a domestic disagreement–the news comes at a very sensitive time in the country, when school shootings have been in the headlines almost every day and President Obama is signing new gun control laws into effect.