By Nita Johnson
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
In a bizarre sequence of events, one man is dead and another critically injured in an accidental shooting on Sally’s Branch Road early Thursday morning.
Laurel County Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Tommy Johnston is heading the investigation in which 25-year-old Kevin McElrath of Sally’s Branch Road, one mile east of London, died after a gunshot wound to the head.
Information in the case indicates several friends were in the kitchen of McElrath’s home around 2:13 a.m. Thursday when McElrath removed the clip from a .45 caliber pistol. The pistol discharged, striking McElrath in the head and causing a fatal injury. The same bullet then struck a second man, 22-year-old Eric Partain, of McKayla Circle in Williamsburg, in the head, causing a critical injury to him.
Sgt. Chuck Johnson and Deputy Brett Reeves responded to the scene and contacted Laurel County Coroner Doug Bowling, who pronounced McElrath dead at the scene.
Partain was transported to the London-Corbin Airport by Ambulance Inc. of Laurel County and airlifted to the University of Kentucky Medical Center.
Also assisting at the scene were Detectives Charlie Loomis and Daryl Zanet, who are assisting with the investigation into the incident; London Police Officer Ryan Jackson; and members of the Laurel County Volunteer Fire Department.