According to a news release from the Johnson Co. Sheriff’s Office, on Saturday, February 10, 2018 at 3:33 PM, Paintsville 911 received a call concerning a shooting at McKenzie Branch off Rt 172 in Johnson Co. Upon receiving the call, 911 dispatch contacted Sheriff Dwayne Price and the Sheriff’s Office responded to the call. Upon arrival at the residence on McKenzie Branch, Sheriff Price met with Deputies Fairchild and Mullins. It was discovered that 2 (two) people had been shot and killed in the kitchen area of the residence. Sheriff Price notified KSP and requested a detective on scene. The suspect in this shooting, identified as Joseph Nickell, was not at the residence and a search needed to be coordinated.
According to a witness, Nickell left the scene in a black Toyota Camry. Johnson Co Deputies along with the Paintsville Police Dept. and the Kentucky State Police began a coordinated search of Joseph Nickell. Other counties were also advised to be on alert and Nickell was to be considered armed and dangerous. While canvassing the area, 911 received a tip that the subject’s vehicle was on Mill Street in Paintsville. All agencies responded to this area and located the vehicle. A search of an apartment complex was conducted and authorities discovered the bodies of two additional victims and Joseph Nickell. All three were deceased. Officials have released the identities of all the victims in this tragedy. Arlene Nickell and Wayne Nickell were the original victims and were the parents of Joseph Nickell. The other 2 (two) victims have been identified as Lindsay Vanhoose and her mother Patricia Vanhoose. Nickell reportedly took his own life after killing his girlfriend and her mother. The KSP in Pikeville is leading this investigation, assisted by the Johnson Co. Sheriff’s Office and the Paintsville Police Dept.