Florence community mourning deaths following mass shooting

FLORENCE, Ky. — The Florence community is remembering the four people who were killed in a mass shooting during a 21st birthday party in the city early Saturday morning.

Florence Police Chief Jeff Mallery said seven people were shot just before 3 a.m. Saturday at a home along Ridgecrest Drive. Three people were transported to the hospital, and police said Monday that they’re all “no longer listed as critical, having improved to stable condition.”

Mallery said 20-year-old Shane Miller, 20-year-old Hayden Rybicki, 19-year-old Delaney Eary and 44-year-old Melissa Parrett were killed in the shooting.

The suspect, 21-year-old Chase Garvey, led police on a pursuit before he shot himself, causing his vehicle to crash. Garvey died at the hospital, Mallery said.

“Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of the victims,” Mallery said at a press conference.

Connor Valpreda is remembering his best friend, Rybicki, as “a good soul,” saying “the way he carried himself impact so many hearts.”

“Through everything he’s endured in this life, the common denominator was always that contagious grin that never seemed to fade. He is someone I am proud to call my best friend, and he was a best friend to more than just I,” Valpreda said. “I consider myself extremely blessed to have been so close to him, and to have made the amazing memories we have together. He was truly one of one and so long as I’m in it, I’ll never let the world forget him.”

Shane Miller’s aunt, Sheryl Beatty, started a GoFundMe to help with funeral expenses for “one of the kindest, sweetest, most loving kid(s),” she said on the fundraiser.

“He was a kind and sweet person that is loved dearly,” Beatty wrote.

The GoFundMe raised more than $15,000 in less than 24 hours.

On Monday, Paige Johnson, a friend of Eary’s, stopped by the memorial set outside the home where the shooting happened.

“Everybody that knew Delaney like serious loved her so much,” Johnson said. “Like she was such a joy. Such a light in everybody’s lives.”

Johnson went to Cooper High School with Eary, who was a few years younger than her. The two shared a love of singing and dancing, she said.

“We had a few friends who would pick us up and we would all just go to this club that we have for Cooper’s Navigators Ministry and we all had sunglasses on and I’m sitting on Delaney’s lap and we’re just like singing and we’re dancing,” Robinson said. “It was awesome. Delaney was just that type of person who would just sit there — dance, laugh, anything like that.”

Two GoFundMe campaigns have been created for Eary. One is organized by the 19-year-old’s family and another by a friend.

Leah Moore, who was at the birthday party and left before the shooting, said she’s going to miss Parrett, who was hosting her son’s birthday party.

Leah Moore, who was at the birthday party and left before the shooting, said she’s going to miss Missy Parrett, who was hosting her son’s birthday party.

“What I’m going to miss most about Missy, especially Missy, is her spirit, her personality,” Moore said. “A lot of people will tell you that people close to them are one of the best people you’ve ever met. Truly, Missy was that.”

A GoFundMe has also been created to help Parrett’s son who “will bear the brunt of any future expenses of the family.” Parrett’s daughter was also shot that night, and remains in the ICU in stable condition “but still fighting for her life,” according to the fundraiser.

A neighbor of Garvey’s said it felt completely out of the picture for the person he knew.

“I mean he did, ain’t no doubt he had to snap and lose his mind, but what causes that who knows?” the neighbor said.

WCPO confirmed through the Kentucky Department of Corrections Garvey was convicted of sexually assaulting a child from an incident in August 2021. A judge sentenced him to five years probation starting in June 2022.

Boone County School District offered counseling services for students and families Monday at Erpenbeck Elementary School.

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