UPDATE: 5 dead in Johnson County murders-suicide

Kentucky State Police are investigating after two people were found dead from apparent gunshot wounds in the Flat Gap area of Johnson County. (WCHS/WVAH)

The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office is now confirming that a total of five people are dead in two separate locations in Johnson County.

According to a statement from the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, it was was discovered that two people had been shot and killed in the kitchen area of a residence. on McKenzie Branch off Ky. 172.

The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office said in addition to the two deceased individuals found at McKenzie Branch, three other bodies have been located at an apartment on Mill Street in Paintsville, including the shooting suspect.

Police said the suspect's name Joseph Nickell, and they believe he took his own life.

“This has been a horrific murder spree,” Sheriff Dwayne Price said in the statement. “The lives of four innocent victims were taken. The perpetrator then took his own life. There are no words to describe the heartbreak in seeing four lives taken due to the actions of one man. I have worked in law enforcement for 34 years. This is one of the most disturbing acts of violence I have ever seen. We will continue to work this case in conjunction with the Kentucky State Police. I ask for prayers for the families.”

At this time, no other details have been released. The investigation into the incident is ongoing.

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