Pineville, KY – A Bell County 911 dispatcher was fatally shot by his cousin inside the county’s communication center early on Friday morning.
Kentucky State Police said the incident occurred at about 1 a.m. on Dec. 3 inside the 911 call center located in Pineville, WKYT reported.
The state police said that there were two dispatchers who were cousins and best friends working together inside the communications center overnight.
The Bell County Sheriff’s Department said in a post to its official Facebook page that 23-year-old Kyle Garrett and his cousin had grown up together and shared a mutual love of firearms.
The sheriff’s department said that the shooting occurred when the two dispatchers “were inside the Bell County 911 Center trading firearms when one of the weapons was accidentally discharged [fatally] striking Dispatcher 23-year-old Kyle Garrett of Frakes.”
Officials said that Garrett was transported to Pineville Community Health Center via ambulance, WKYT reported.
He was pronounced dead at the hospital by the Bell County Coroner, according to the sheriff’s department.
Kentucky State Police said in a press release that Garrett’s body had been transferred to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Frankfort for an autopsy.
Bell County Sheriff Mitch Williams said in the post to the department’s Facebook page that the dispatchers should not have had their personal firearms with them inside the communications center.
Sheriff Williams said his department had protocols in place that prohibited non-sworn personnel from carrying firearms into the 911 Center.
However, the sheriff said after the tragic incident that it was obvious those protocols were not followed in this case.
He said in the post that the fatal shooting had been an accident and that “Kyle and Colton are cousins and best friends.”
“They grew up together and shared the hobby of casual gun trading,” Sheriff Williams said. “This is a tragedy that you can never prepare for. We are asking for prayers for the family of Kyle and Colton. We also ask that you pray for the dispatchers, deputies, and first responders that work alongside them every day.”
Kentucky State Police said in its press release that the agency was heading up the investigation into the fatal shooting.