AP

2 dead, 2 wounded in shooting at Kentucky homeless shelter

Aug 26, 2022, 5:28 AM | Updated: 12:17 pm

HENDERSON, Ky. (AP) — Two people were killed and two were wounded in a shooting at a homeless shelter for men in western Kentucky, and a suspect has been arrested, authorities said.

Officers responded Thursday evening to a report of an active shooter at the Harbor House Christian Center, the Henderson Police Department said in a statement on social media.

The shooting occurred around 7:40 p.m. when about 15 people were inside the facility, Henderson City Commissioner Robert Pruitt told The Courier & Press in Evansville, Indiana.

The suspect was identified as Kenneth B. Gibbs, 37. He has been charged with two counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder, Henderson Police Lt. Stuart O’Nan said Friday.

Gibbs was located after the shooting thanks to a tip from the public and taken into custody without incident shortly before 10 p.m., Henderson Police Chief Sean McKinney said during a news conference Friday. Gibbs was identified as the shooter by witnesses at the shelter and was armed when he was found.

The wounded men remained hospitalized Friday but were in stable condition, McKinney said.

Gibbs was being held at the Henderson County jail. Online records don’t indicate whether he has an attorney.

O’Nan said both Gibbs and the victims were residents of the shelter. Police have not released a motive in the shooting and did not identify the wounded men. Steven Wathen, 67, and Chad Holmes, 44, were killed, police said.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Henderson this morning after a senseless act of violence,” Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear tweeted Friday morning. “Britainy and I pray those injured recover quickly and we give thanks to our brave first responders. Henderson, we stand with you.”

Harbor House is described on its Facebook page as a Christian-based homeless shelter and a “safe harbor for men in need.”

Pruitt said Harbor House has been an asset for the community since it opened in 1989, but “tonight puts a scar on that.”

Harbor House resident Brian McClain told the newspaper a church service had just ended and he was resting in a dorm room when a man he believed to be the shooter turned the lights on suddenly.

“He looked at me funny and shut the light back off, and when he went out the dorm room, it wasn’t five seconds later I heard shots,” he said.

He said he jumped out of bed, unlocked a window and climbed out.

“It’s crazy,” he said. “I don’t know what the hell is wrong with people, man.”

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2 dead, 2 wounded in shooting at Kentucky homeless shelter