By: Kyle James | 02-12-2018 | News
Photo credit: WSAZ News 3

Johnson County Boy Killed His Parents, His Girlfriend, And Her Mother

An apparent mass shooting left five people dead in Kentucky's Johnson County Saturday and now new details have emerged.

The shooter was a boy who killed his parents, his girlfriend, and his girlfriend's mother before turning the gun on himself.

The four victims have been identified by police as Arlene Nickell and her husband, James Nickell; Lindsey Vanhoose; and her mother, Patricia Vanhoose.

The Vanhooses were home at their Paintsville apartment when they were shot and killed by Joseph Nickell. Authorities have established that Lindsey Vanhoose was Joseph Nickell's girlfriend and Patricia Vanhoose was her mother.

Police had no ages for the victims nor a motive as of Sunday evening, according to state police spokesman William Petry.

Detectives are still working to piece together exactly what happened Saturday and what led to the shooting. Petry confirmed a long road was ahead for his detectives saying, "There's going to be a lot more investigation."

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The murders took place Saturday at two locations, both in Johnson County. Johnson County Sheriff Dwayne Price said the local 911 center received a call at 3:33 p.m. about a shooting in a rural McKenzie Branch community.

Price responded to the scene with two deputies and found two people shot dead in the kitchen, they were later confirmed to be Joseph Nickell's parents.

The shooter was at the house with his grandparents when his father arrived and then escaped to call 911. Nickell then left his parents' home in a black Toyota Camry.

Paintsville police began searching for the car and warned other counties to keep an eye out for the vehicle. Police then received a tip that the car was on Mill Street in Paintsville outside an apartment complex.

Officers arrived to find the vehicle was empty and both Lindsey and Patricia Vanhoose were dead inside their apartment. The apartment is also where Joseph Nickell's killed himself.

Price said on Facebook, "Working a murder is never easy. Working the murders of four innocent people that are part of your community is even tougher. The scenes are never the same but the chilling outcome is always heart-wrenching."

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