NewsCovering Kentucky


28-year-old UK nursing student killed in Lexington drive-by shooting

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Posted at 4:14 AM, Mar 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-04 15:19:16-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Lexington Police are investigating after a drive-by shooting that has left one man dead.

The shooting happened just after 2 a.m. Thursday on the 900 block De Porres Avenue, near Georgetown Street.

Police say a vehicle drove by the home and someone fired a shot into it.

The victim, Jesse Matthew Averitt, 28, was taken to the hospital where he later died. Averitt was a senior at University of Kentucky's College of Nursing. He was also an LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) at Eastern State Hospital while in school at UK.

"The Eastern State Hospital/Central Kentucky Recovery Center and UK HealthCare family is grieving the tragic loss of Jesse Averitt," said Marc Woods, Assistant Chief Nurse Executive, UK HealthCare-Behavioral Health. "Our hearts ache for Jesse, his family and friends. Jesse joined ESH/CKRC as a Mental Health Associate in 2017, became an LPN about a year later and was enrolled in UK's LPN to BSN program. Jesse's positive outlook made him a joy to know and work with. He always had a smile on his face and a kind word for patients and his fellow teammates. All of us who loved him are mourning the loss of Jesse."

"The UK College of Nursing community is deeply saddened by the unexpected loss of one of our own," said Janie Heath, UK College of Nursing Dean and Warwick Professor of Nursing. "In addition to working at Eastern State Hospital, Jesse was in our LPN-BSN in nursing program and was expected to graduate this December. Jesse was an exceptional student, but more importantly, he was an exceptional person with a big heart and the ability to brighten anyone's day when they were feeling down. Our sincerest sympathies go out to Jesse's family, friends, fellow students and colleagues at this most difficult time — he will be truly missed."

A second man who was inside the home at the time of the shooting was not hurt.

A witness reported seeing a vehicle speed away from the area immediately after the shooting. Police do not have any suspect description at this time.