Florida man, 55, fatally shoots hotel employee after couple did not give him a lighter
By Arunava Chakrabarty
McCRACKEN COUNTY, KENTUCKY: A Florida man was arrested for allegedly assaulting a couple in the parking lot of a Kentucky hotel and for fatally shooting a female employee of the same hotel soon after, on Saturday, February 11.
The McCracken County Sheriff’s Office said that Robert Pannell, 55, was slapped with charges of first-degree murder, assault, wanton endangerment, disorderly conduct, menacing and resisting arrest. As per reports, authorities were informed about a potential shooter around 9.48 am and were called to Best Western hotel in southwestern Kentucky.
What did the authorities discover?
A police officer located Pannell in the parking lot and arrested him. A sheriff’s deputy searched the hotel and discovered the employee on the first floor. The woman had sustained mutiple gunshot wounds to the head and body.
The detectives came to know during the investigation that Pannell allegedly assaulted a couple in the parking lot after they could not give him a cigarette lighter. He then entered the hotel and opened fire randomly, subsequently killing the employee. No one else was injured during the incident.
Pannell, who hails from Palm Coast, was staying in the hotel at the time of the shooting. According to jail records, he is being held at the McCracken County Jail on a combined bond of $2.5M.
What did the authorities say?
“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,” deputies said according to Law&Crime.
“Pannell then went inside the hotel with a handgun 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,” deputies added.
The victim was reportedly taken to a hospital and was kept alive for organ donation. “At the request of the family, the McCracken County Sheriff’s Office is not releasing her name,” authorities wrote, adding, “The MCSO asks for everyone to keep the victim’s family and friends in their prayers.”