Covering Kentucky

Jan 16, 2013 10:22 PM

Vigil Remembering Perry Co. Victims Murdered On Community College Campus

Three people are dead after Tuesday's shooting at the Hazard Community & Technical College. Wednesday, the Perry County town gathered to grieve, just hours after the youngest shooting victim died from her injuries at UK Hospital.

At the Petrey Memorial Baptist Church, parents wrap their arms around children, the Hazard police chief holds his head in his hands, women dab their eyes with tissues. So many in this town are still in shock.

"They're broken, but yet, you can also see that little bit of hope," says Judy Elam, who attended the vigil.

"It is our faith that pulls us together in times like this," says Pastor Bill Scott, with Petrey Memorial Baptist.

They pray for the three family members shot and killed Tuesday. Among the victims are Jackie Cornett, known to friends as Doug, and his 12 year old daughter, Taylor Cornett.

"She's a sweet little girl, and she's got a wonderful family that's there regardless. No matter how things are, they're there," says Elam, who has known the Cornett family for years.

The third victim is Jackie's niece, 21 year-old Caitlin Cornett. The family tells LEX 18, Tuesday night, Jackie drove Caitlin--with Taylor in the car--to the community college, where Caitlin was a student. She was supposedly meeting Dalton Stidham. We're told the couple have a two year child together who Caitlin was supposed to pick up. The family says the two were in a custody battle. Police say that's when Stidham shot Jackie, Caitlin, and Taylor before going home with the toddler.

Jackie and Caitlin died on the scene. Taylor died the next day, at UK Hospital.

Taylor's grandparents are members at Petrey Memorial Baptist Church. Pastor Bill Scott has visited with them since the tragedy:

"Having been with the maternal grandparents on several occasions already, seeing the devastation... the grief."

Scott says it's being together, a community consoling one another, that will get them thru this.

"I've heard it all day, God is good. And God is good," Elam says.

Right now Stidham is charged with two counts of murder and one count attempted murder. Police say those charges could change.


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