Dispatcher dies in accidental shooting at Bell 911 center

Published 11:52 am Tuesday, December 7, 2021

An accidental shooting at Bell County’s 911 Center early Friday morning has left one of the dispatchers dead.

Kentucky State Police at the Harlan Post said around 1 a.m. they received a call from the Bell County Sheriff’s Department about an accidental shooting at the Bell County 911 Center. Troopers and detectives responded and began an investigation.

The KSP says their initial determination is that two dispatchers were inside the 911 Center trading firearms, when one of the weapons accidentally discharged, striking Dispatcher Kyle Garrett, 23, of the Frakes community. He was transported to Pineville Community Health Center where he was pronounced dead by the Bell County coroner.

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In a Facebook post following the incident, Bell County Sheriff Mitch Williams said, “The department has protocols in place that prevent non-sworn personnel from bringing firearms into the 911 Center. It was discovered, after this incident, that these protocols were not followed.”

The sheriff added that the two men were cousins and best friends who grew up together and shared the hobby of casual gun trading.

“This is a tragedy that you can never prepare for. We are asking for prayers for the family,” said Williams. “We also ask that you pray for the dispatchers, deputies, and first responders that work alongside them every day.”

An autopsy for Garrett will be performed at the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Frankfort.

The KSP says the investigation into the shooting is continuing.