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Jan 18, 2013 5:51 PM by Josh Breslow

Family Member Of 3 Killed Outside Hazard School Forgives Accused Shooter

As a Perry County man prepares to bury two of his children and his grandchild, he opened up to LEX 18 about the tragedy that took their lives.

Three of Jackie Cornett's family members were shot Tuesday night in the parking lot at Hazard Community and Technical College. The victims were Cornett's 20-year-old adopted daughter Caitlin, his 53-year-old son Jackie "Douglas," and his 12-year-old granddaughter Taylor.

"Until it comes to your family, you don't really understand it," Cornett told LEX 18.

A memorial now sits at the scene of the deadly shooting to honor the lives of all three.

"The Lord took them home. The Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away," Cornett said.

The man accused of pulling the trigger is Dalton Stidham. He is the father of Caitlin's 2-year-old son. Cornett said the two had recently split and threats had been made.

"He bought the gun five hours before he killed her, so he planned this," said Cornett.

Jackie Sr. told LEX 18 that he wasn't home Tuesday night, so Jackie Jr. drove Caitlin to Hazard Community College to pick up her child from Stidham.

"I would've been here in the place of my son if I hadn't been about 20 minutes late," said Cornett.

While Cornett knows that some may not understand it, he said he has only one feeling toward Stidham and that's forgiveness.

"One thing I'd like to do to that boy is go up and hug him and pray for him. And I'll do that if I get the chance," said Cornett.

The visitation for the victims will be Monday at 11 a.m. at the John C. Combs Arena. The funeral will follow at 1 p.m.

Hazard Community and Technical College has also planned a candlelight vigil for Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. That will be held in the First Federal Center.


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