Heath High School shooting


On Black Friday, Kentuckians headed to stores to purchase the typical tablets, televisions and toys.

But for some, firearms were the hot item.

On that single day, more than 13,000 firearm background checks were processed in Kentucky, according to data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. That’s just a small sample of the number of background checks conducted for the purpose of selling firearms in the state.

Heath High School shooter Michael Carneal has lost his bid to withdraw a guilty plea after an appeals court ruled he should have sought a new trial sooner. The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati ruled today that Carneal was declared competent as early as 2004 and could have challenged the plea then.


Western Kentucky is a region whose residents have known the horror of a deadly school shooting. Since the 1997 Heath High School shootings in Paducah where three students were killed and five wounded, state law mandates that every public school have a safety plan. Those plans deal with a range of possibilities: from fire, train derailment, and earthquakes to an armed intruder or angry parent.