Three Whitley Co. residents found dead from suspected self-inflicted gunshot wounds over 24-hour period
Whitley County Coroner Andy Croley says that a trio of suspected self-inflicted gun-related deaths over about a 24-hour period this weekend all appear to be unconnected.
The first deceased person was James King, 19, who was pronounced dead about 1:30 a.m. Saturday from a firearm-related injury at an acquaintance’s residence on Peggy Lane in Corbin.
“The manner of death is still pending further investigation,” Croley said.
Croley said that two active pipe bombs were found at the scene, which an ATF agent defused.
Kentucky State Police have also been contacted regarding the case.
Croley said, “everything is under investigation at this point,” regarding King’s death.
Croley said that the death apparently happened earlier in the day, and the people at the residence got scared and called 911 at some point after the shooting.
The second deceased person was 16-year-old Bethany Faith Lawson, who died at her home on Limestone Branch Saturday evening. Her parents found her.
She died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. No foul play is suspected in her death, Croley said.
The third deceased person, Steven Reeves, 55, was pronounced dead early Sunday at his home near Cindy Lane from self-inflicted injuries sustained by a firearm.
Family members discovered his body.
“Nothing is connected,” Croley said of the three deaths.
Croley said that in regards to suicide, he thinks more research needs to be done to find a way of better getting people counseling before they reach the point where they are thinking of taking their own lives.
“It is just a hard topic to talk about. These are cases where you wouldn’t see any signs of issues or anything like that,” he added.
If you are considering suicide, or are concerned that someone you know might be considering it, you can contact your local community mental health center, Cumberland River Behavioral Health (Comp Care), at (606) 549-1440 or (606) 528-7010.
Below are some links to resources you can seek if you or someone you care about needs help.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline –1-800-273-TALK (8255) or http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
- Zero Suicide in Healthcare and Behavioral Healthcare – www.zerosuicide.org.
- Suicide Prevention Resource Center – www.sprc.org.
- National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention – http://actionallianceforsuicideprevention.org.
- American Association of Suicidology – www.suicidology.org.
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention – www.afsp.org.
- National Council for Behavioral Health – http://www.thenationalcouncil.org.
Help is also available by text message 24/7. Simply text the word “home” to 741741.