Heath High School

Nicole Erwin

A survivor of the 1997 Heath High School shooting in Paducah said she never thought another shooting would happen in the same community.

Paducah is about 20 miles from the Marshall County High School shooting on Tuesday.

More than 20 years ago, Missy Jenkins Smith spent a week in the ICU after a shooter opened fire on his fellow classmates, killing three students. Smith is now a counselor for the Calloway County Alternative Instructional Facility.

WKMS

The Kentucky State Police are now saying that a total of 20 people were injured during the shooting. They say 16 suffered gunshot wounds (Previous reports said 19 total, 14 gunshot wounds).  This number includes two victims who died.

KSP issued a release with the updated total soon after 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday and later offered a clarification regarding the numbers.


Kentucky News Network

The man who shot and killed three classmates at a Paducah High School in 1997 has lost a bid to withdraw his guilty plea. The US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cinncinati ruled Thursday that 29-year-old Michael Carneal could have acted sooner to seek a new trial.  The unanimous opinion upholds a 2011 ruling by a federal judge who denied Carneal’s request.

Carneal shot into a prayer circle at Heath High School in Paducah, killing three classmates and wounding five others. 

Attorneys for Carneal, who was 14 at the time of the shooting, argued he was mentally unfit to accept responsibility for the crime. Carneal pled guilty in 1998 and did not ask to withdraw the plea until 2009. 

The Kentucky Attorney General’s Office argued the appeal was not timely and therefore his conviction and life sentence should stand.