The four people shot and killed in two locations in Johnson County Saturday included the parents of the assailant, state police confirmed Sunday.
The son of the killer was in the parents’ house during the shooting but escaped, police said.
Police identified the four people who died as Arlene Nickell and her husband, James Nickell; Lindsey Vanhoose; and her mother, Patricia Vanhoose.
The Vanhooses were in their Paintsville apartment.
The man police said shot all four and then killed himself was Joseph Nickell.
Arlene and James Nickell were Joseph Nickell’s parents. Lindsey Vanhoose was his girlfriend, police said, and Patricia Vanhoose was her mother. Police did not have ages on the victims.
Police had not established a motive by Sunday afternoon, according to state police spokesman William Petry.
Detectives were still piecing together the investigation Sunday.
“There’s going to be a lot more investigation,” Petry said.
The shootings unfolded at two locations in Johnson County Saturday afternoon.
Johnson County Sheriff Dwayne Price said in a Facebook post that the local 911 center received a call at 3:33 p.m. about a shooting in the rural McKenzie Branch community.
When Price and two deputies arrived at the residence, they found two people dead in the kitchen.
Those were Joseph Nickell’s parents, according to state police.
Nickell’s son was at the house with his grandparents when his father got there, but he escaped, said Petry. He was the one who called 911.
Nickell reportedly left his paerents’ home in a black Toyota Camry.
The sheriff’s office, state police and Paintsville police began searching for the car and notified other counties to be on the lookout.
Police then received a call that the car was on Mill Street in Paintsville outside an apartment building. The car was empty when police arrived.
Lindsey and Patricia Vanhoose were dead in the apartment. It was also where Nickell killed himself.
Price asked for prayer for the families in a Facebook post late Saturday.
“Working a murder is never easy. Working the murders of four innocent people that are part of your community is even tougher,” Price said. “The scenes are never the same but the chilling outcome is always heart-wrenching.”