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KSP rules Meade shooting as murder-suicide

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13-year-old boy among victims

By Sarah Bennett

An early morning conversation Friday between Warren E. Tripp and his brother eventually led to a Meade County sheriff’s deputy performing a welfare check at Warren Tripp’s residence in Brandenburg, according to officials.

Something the officer saw Friday morning at 370 Otterview Court led him to suspect foul play and make entry into the house, Meade County Sheriff Butch Kerrick said.

What he found inside were the dead bodies of Tripp, 50, his girlfriend, Ellen M. Cain, 42, and Cain’s 13-year-old son, officials said.

Kentucky State Police are calling the incident a double homicide and suicide, KSP spokesman Jeff Gregory said. Autopsies, which were performed Saturday morning, showed the three died from gunshot wounds from a semi-automatic weapon, he said.

Though police have not released the name of the juvenile, media outlets have reported that neighbors gave his name as Tucker Wimpee. Kerrick confirmed the teen is the son of a Meade County sheriff’s deputy.

Kerrick was unable to provide specific times but said Tripp called his brother in Union County early Friday and “raised some issues.”

The conversation left the brother concerned Tripp might take his own life, the sheriff said, and he contacted Union County Dispatch, which in turn called Meade County Dispatch and requested a welfare check.

Kerrick said he requested assistance from Kentucky State Police Post 4. According to a news release, Meade County Dispatch contacted the post for assistance at 8 a.m. Friday.

During a press conference Friday, Post 4 spokesman Jeff Gregory said detectives continued to work the case as a death investigation. However, he added they do not believe a shooter is at large.

“We do not feel at this time that there is anybody at large that would be a danger to the public,” Gregory said.

Based on evidence uncovered Friday, Gregory said police believe the shootings occurred “sometime after (7 a.m. Friday).”

Prior to Friday, he said KSP had not previously responded to the Otterview Court residence, and according to Kerrick, neither had the Meade County Sheriff’s Office.

KSP and the sheriff’s office were assisted at the scene by Meade County EMS and the Meade County Coroner’s Office.

Kerrick said counseling is available to the deputy who initially responded Friday and others at the office who may need it.

According to Kerrick, one of the deputies made the connection at the scene Friday that the juvenile inside the home likely was the son of a coworker.

“One of the other responding deputies realized where we were,” Kerrick said.

“It’s a tragic blow for everybody,” he said later.

Sarah Bennett can be reached at 270-505-1750 or sbennett@thenewsenterprise.com.