A 55-year-old Florida man is behind bars, and an innocent female hotel employee is on life support after a cruel act of violence was unleashed Saturday in Kentucky.
According to authorities, on Saturday, February 11, 2023, at approximately 9:48 AM, Paducah 911 received multiple calls regarding a possible active shooter at a hotel.
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The callers stated that a male was actively shooting in a hotel on John Puryear Drive, by Exit 11 in Paducah, KY.
Deputies from the McCracken County Sheriff’s Office and officers from the Paducah Police Department responded to the hotel.
A McCracken County Deputy arrived in less than two minutes and began searching the hotel for the gunman.
The deputy located a female victim on the first floor of the hotel. Meanwhile, a Paducah police officer located a possible suspect outside the hotel and detained him in the parking lot.
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The female, an employee of the hotel, had multiple gunshot wounds to her head and body. Police say no other victims or suspects were located in or around the hotel after deputies and officers searched the hotel.
During the investigation, it was discovered that the suspect, Robert Pannell, had assaulted a male and female in the parking lot of the hotel after the couple could not give Pannell a cigarette lighter.
Pannell then went inside the hotel with a handgun in his hand and walked down a hallway. Pannell then shot the female victim and shot multiple rounds indiscriminately.
“Multiple people were in close proximity to Pannell when he ‘indiscriminately’ fired his handgun. At some point, Pannell threw his handgun inside the lobby of the hotel. Pannell was a guest at the hotel, but so far it is undetermined what led to his actions,” said MCSO.
The single female gunshot victim was transported to a local hospital.
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“At this time, she is being kept alive so her organs can help save the life of someone else,” said MCSO.
Update: At approximately 4:00 PM on February 11, detectives with the McCracken County Sheriff’s Office were notified of the victim’s passing.
At the request of the family, the McCracken County Sheriff’s Office is not releasing her name.
Robert Pannell is 55 years old and is from Palm Coast, Florida. Detectives with the McCracken County Sheriff’s Office are coordinating investigative efforts with the Flagler County, Florida Sheriff’s Office. At this time, it is unknown why Pannell was in Paducah, KY.
Pannell was charged with Murder 1st Degree, Assault 1st Degree, Assault 4th Degree (two counts), and four counts of Wanton Endangerment 1st Degree. The Paducah Police Department also charged Pannell with Assault 3rd Degree, Menacing, Disorderly Conduct 2nd Degree, and Resisting Arrest.
“This investigation is ongoing and as more facts are discovered, more charges are possible, and charges will be upgraded to more serious offenses,” said MCSO.
Pannell was lodged in the McCracken County Jail.
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