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The Murray State News

The Murray State News

The Murray State News

Apparent murder-suicide nearby rattles campus

Local law enforcement arrived to the 1500 block of Chestnut Street on March 16 after reports of shots fired. (Photo courtesy of Gage Johnson/TheNews)

Gage Johnson


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At first glance, it appears the home in the 1500 block of Chestnut Street that was the scene of an early morning murder-suicide on Tuesday, March 16, is part of the Murray State campus. 

However, the single-family home, even though just feet away from Elizabeth Residential College, is a privately-owned residence. 

Police officers responded to a shots fired call at the home just after 7:30 a.m. Upon arrival, officers found three people with gunshot wounds. Police said 31-year-old Anthony Amoroso shot his girlfriend, 46-year-old Katherine Bryan and a child before turning the gun on himself. 

The Calloway County Coroner pronounced Amoroso dead on the scene. Bryan and the child were both taken to Murray-Calloway County Hospital and later airlifted to a hospital outside of the region. Bryan later died as a result of her injuries, according to a press release from the Murray Police Department. No additional information on the child’s condition was released. 

While officers were securing the scene, many students were already heading to class when the Racer Alert was sent out to all faculty, staff and students. The alert stated an incident had been reported near campus and those in the residential colleges should shelter in place. Everyone was also asked to avoid the walking bridge and general area in the middle of campus near Chestnut Street. 

Prior to the Racer Alert, Sarah Levanti, a sophomore majoring in pre-physical therapy, was heading to her desk job at Hester Residential College when she noticed something strange outside her dorm.

“I couldn’t see very well, but I saw someone running and then I was like ‘well I have to go to work,’” Levanti said. “That was at 7:40. They didn’t send out the shelter in place mandate until 7:47. So I left Elizabeth and there were two police officers, one who was in between Lizzo and Clark by a cop car and one was running across the bridge and all I could hear was ‘get back in your dorms, clear the area.’ They just kept repeating that to all the students, because there were people trying to go to class. I got to Hester and I was at the desk when they finally sent out that mandate.”

Mason Vandiver, a sophomore from Madisonville, Kentucky, was on his way to class and thought nothing of the situation until he saw multiple law enforcement officers with weapons drawn as he continued on his way to Mason Hall.

“I was walking from my dorm over at Clark, and as I was coming this way I was passing Lizzo and I saw an officer holding a rifle and he walked around that side of the building (Elizabeth College),” Vandiver said. “At first I knew we do emergency testing for our systems, so I thought ‘oh we’re just doing a drill,’ but as I came close to the bridge I could see all the police officer cars and everyone had their weapons out.”

At that moment, Vandiver knew it was something much more serious, but what happened next sent him and students in the surrounding area into sheer reaction as they looked for safety immediately.

“As I’m passing about [the] Curris Center, I just hear a bang and I hear somebody yell ‘take cover’ so that’s when we all kind of ran and got into the closest building,” Vandiver said.

Vandiver said he and the other students in the surrounding area took cover inside Mason Hall until an all clear Racer Alert was sent out. More information would follow at 9:17 a.m. when President Bob Jackson sent an email to the campus community. 

Earlier this morning, the Murray State Police Department and Murray City Police responded to a shooting incident at a property adjacent to campus and a shelter in place message was sent immediately thereafter,” Jackson said in the email. “The shooter is no longer a threat to the campus community. Multiple victims have been transported to the local hospital. At this time, we do not believe that the individuals were students or had any affiliation with Murray State University. There is no threat to the Murray State campus.”

A GoFundMe account has been set up to cover Bryan’s funeral costs. To contribute to the GoFundMe visit this link 

“Katie was taken from all of us too soon,” it said on the GoFundMe page. “She was a victim of violence. She was the most caring person ever. She would give you her last dollar and do without herself. Now it is time to say goodbye and her surviving family needs your help. Please see our goal. Thank you so much.” 

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