Mother tragically shot trying to protect daughter during Kentucky mass shooting

FLORENCE, KY – An unspeakable tragedy unfolded in the quiet community of Florence, Kentucky, where a birthday celebration abruptly turned into a bloody nightmare early Sunday. A lone gunman is responsible for the deaths of four individuals, leaving three others critically wounded before taking his own life.

Police were summoned to the Ridgecrest Drive home at approximately 2:51 a.m. following distress calls about an active shooter situation. Upon arrival, officers encountered the chilling sound of gunfire and a shocking tableau: seven gunshot victims. Despite quick intervention, four people succumbed to their injuries, while the remaining three were rushed to UC Hospital, fighting for their lives.

In the adrenaline-fueled moments that followed the initial emergency response, law enforcement ascertained that the shooter had fled the scene. A high-speed chase ensued, ending only when the individual’s vehicle careered into a ditch on Dale Heimbrock Way near Hicks Pike. There, authorities discovered the suspect, gravely injured from a self-inflicted gunshot. He was transported to St. Elizabeth Hospital, where he was pronounced deceased.

The community mourns the victims: Shane Miller, 20; Hayden Rybicki, 20; Delaney Eary, 19; and Melissa Parrett, 44. Grieving family members recalled the harrowing events and the devastating toll on loved ones.

Bruce Parrett is amongst the bereaved, having lost his wife, Melissa, to the shooter’s rampage. According to Parrett, Melissa bravely sacrificed herself to protect their 19-year-old daughter Chloe, who is currently hospitalized with severe chest wounds. The surviving Parrett, Chloe, remains critical but stable—her life a testament to her mother’s love and courage.

The reverberations of that night’s violence extend beyond the immediate circles of the victims. Boone County Schools has publicly extended support services to students and families with connections to the victims, recognizing the fundamental need for communal healing.

Authorities have identified the gunman as 21-year-old Chase Garvey. Garvey’s criminal history includes prior convictions for rape and sodomy, adding a layer of complexity to the ongoing investigation into his motives for the attack. Police maintain that Garvey was not a guest of the party but appeared driven by a deliberate plan to wreak havoc upon the attendees.

On Saturday, during a press conference, Florence Police Chief Jeff Mallery spoke with visible emotion, acknowledging that while mass shootings are prevalent nationally, this was a first for the Florence community and one that will leave an indelible mark.

The Florence Police Department continues to investigate the shooting while encouraging anyone with additional information to come forward.