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One person dead after active shooter situation at Best Western hotel in Paducah, suspect in custody

The McCracken County Sheriff’s Office reported that one person has died and the suspect has been apprehended.



Photo credit: Paducah Drone

On Saturday February 11, 2023 at approximately 9:48 AM, Paducah 911 received multiple 911 calls regarding a possible active shooter at a hotel. 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.

The female, an employee of the hotel, had multiple gunshot wounds to her head and body. No other victims or suspects were located in or around the hotel after deputies and officers searched the hotel.

During the subsequent 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. Detectives are currently and will continue to investigate.

The single female gunshot victim was transported to a local hospital. At this time, she is being kept alive so her organs can help save the life of someone else. At the request of the family, the McCracken County Sheriff’s Office is not releasing her name. The MCSO asks for everyone to keep the victim’s family and friends in their prayers.

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 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.

The McCracken County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the Paducah Police Department, Graves County Sheriff’s Office, Ballard County Sheriff’s Office, McCracken County Emergency Management, Reidland Farley Fire Department, Mercy Regional Ambulance, and the multiple other agencies that offered assistance.

Original Story:

Law enforcement has reacted to a shooting incident at a hotel in Paducah that took place on Saturday morning.

The McCracken County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) has informed that they have deployed deputies and officers to the Best Western hotel on John Puryear near I-24 exit 11.

Due to the ongoing investigation, the MCSO is advising people to stay away from the area as Paducah police and McCracken County Sheriff’s deputies are working on the scene.

The MCSO has also confirmed that they have taken a suspect into custody at present.