LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A church pastor was arrested Wednesday afternoon in the slayings of three people last month in a central Kentucky pawn shop that placed a nearby college on lockdown.
Police in Danville, Ky., said they arrested Kenneth A. Keith, 48, of Burnside on three counts of murder and one count of robbery after officers searched the Main Street Baptist Church in Burnside where Keith is the pastor, the church parsonage where Keith lives and Gold Rush Buyers, a jewelry store Keith operates in Somerset, according to a news release from the police department.
The release didn't say where Keith was arrested.
On Sept. 20, a man walked into ABC Gold, Games and More pawn shop in Danville and fatally shot husband and wife owners Michael Hockensmith, 34, and Angela Hockensmith, 38, of Lincoln County, along with Daniel P. Smith, 60, of Richmond.
Police were called by the Hockensmiths' 9-year-old son, who was in the store at the time of shootings with his 2-year-old sister. The children were not injured.
Keith was taken to the Pulaski County Detention Center, pending transfer to Boyle County.
Records at the Kentucky Secretary of State's Office show that Keith used to operate a pawn shop at the same location of ABC Gold.
The records show that Keith organized King's Corner Pawn & Gifts LLC at 500 S. Fourth St. on Feb. 7, 2011 — the same day he and another man filed organization papers for Gold Rush Buyers.
Keith filed another document less than two months ago stating that effective June 30, 2013, "Kings Corner & Pawn & Gifts LLC is closed and the LLC has been dissolved."
The Hockensmiths purchased ABC Gold in July.
Danville, a town of slightly more than 16,000, had two homicides last year and one in 2010 but none from 2004 to 2009 and none in 2011, according to FBI crime statistics.
The pawn shop is located on a heavily traveled commercial strip two to three blocks southeast of Centre College, a private liberal arts college with 1,375 students. The college was placed on lockdown for about two hours after the shootings were discovered.