Harrison County High School student shoots passenger, then kills himself

An 18-year-old Harrison County High School student driving a car shot his female passenger, then shot and killed himself Friday, Bourbon County Sheriff Mark Matthews said.

The sheriff identified the 18-year-old as Emery Collins of Cynthiana. The 17-year-old girl, whose name Matthews did not release, was rushed to University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital for surgery.

The shooting apparently happened as Collins was driving on Ruddles Mill Road north of Paris, Matthews said. The car struck the corner of a brick house and then struck a fence. The house was occupied by a woman, who was unhurt, Matthews said.

A .22-caliber handgun was recovered from the Toyota Camry, Matthews said.

The sheriff’s office was dispatched to the crash shortly after 8 a.m. Emergency workers found Collins and the girl to be unresponsive, but it was not immediately apparent why because the contact with the house was relatively minor, Matthews said.

“There’s some blood in the car but ... I’m looking at them and there are no cuts, no lacerations, none of that,” Matthews said. “Why is there blood in the car? There’s no blood on them that we can see.”

Emergency workers later found a gunshot wound on Collins’ temple above the hairline. At the time the two were taken to UK, emergency responders didn’t realize that the girl had been shot in the head, Matthews said.

Collins and the girl were students at Harrison County High School and had apparently been there Friday morning, Matthews said.

“They had both gone to school and were at school, and then went outside to get some kind of project out of the car and then wound up not going back in,” Matthews said. “From what we understand, they had been dating, and were having some problems.”