Woman Paralyzed by Classmate in 1997 Paducah School Shooting Speaks Out as Convicted Gunman Seeks Parole

In 1997, 14-year-old Michael Carneal opened fire inside his high school, killing three classmates in Paducah, Kentucky.

Now 39, Carneal is seeking parole in what’s believed to be one of the first known instances of a school shooter possibly leaving prison. 

Missy Jenkins, one of five students wounded in the shooting, testified this week in front of 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 told the parole board that voices in his head told him to kill all those 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 said.

Parole Board Chair Ladeidra Jones asked Carneal when the last time he heard a voice telling him 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 said.

Another parole board member asked if Carneal felt responsible for the rash of deadly school shootings that followed his.

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

The full parole board is meeting Monday to hear more testimony and possibly make a decision about whether or not Carneal should be released.

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