As a Gunman Seeks Parole, a Survivor of the 1997 School Shooting Speaks Up


Michael Carneal was 14 years old when he opened fire on his high school and killed three classmates in Paducah.

Carneal, now 39, is applying for parole. This is believed to be the first time that a school shooter has ever left prison. 

Missy Jenkins was one of five victims in the shooting and testified before the Kentucky State Parole Board. 

“Michael sentenced me to life in a wheelchair without the possibility of parole,” Jenkins said. 

She also spoke to Inside Edition about Carneal’s parole hearing.

“Whenever I heard 25 years, I felt like it was going to be so far away, but it got here in no time,” Jenkins said.

Carneal stated to the parole board that voices in him had told him to kill years ago.

“I don’t remember firing the gun or how many times I fired it, but the next thing I remember is people laying on the ground,”Carneal added.

Ladeidra Jones, Chair of the Parole Board, asked Carneal when he last heard a voice telling Carneal to. “do something harmful.”

Carneal said that two days before, a voice told him to “jump off the stairs.”

“It’s not something I have acted on in a very long time,”Carneal added.

Another parole board member asked Carneal if he felt guilty for the string of school shootings which followed his.

“Even today when these things happen, I feel responsible for them on some level,”Carneal added.

Monday’s full parole board meeting will be held to hear additional testimony and make a decision on whether Carneal should remain in custody.

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