UK student killed in drive-by shooting


Natalie Parks

A drive-by shooting in Lexington killed a UK student, Jesse Averitt, early the morning of March 4, 2021.

Averitt, 28, was shot shortly after 2:00 a.m. and taken to the hospital, where he later died of his injuries, said Lexington police spokesperson Brenna Angel.

Averrit was found shot in a home on De Porres Avenue. Another adult male was inside the home at the time and was uninjured, Angel said. It was a drive-by shooting.

Angel said the police do not have suspect information at this time and are asking anyone with information to call the police at (859) 258-3600.

Averitt was a senior earning his Bachelor’s in Nursing while employed as an LPN at Eastern State Hospital, according to UK spokesperson Kathy Johnson.

Averitt is the second UK student to be killed in a shooting this school year. Madilyn Grisham, 20, was killed in a Payne Street shooting at the end of November.

Janie Heath, dean of the College of Nursing, sent a statement to nursing faculty, staff and students sharing the news of Averitt’s death.

“As you might have already heard on the news, he lost his life from a drive by shooting at 2 am this morning.  We ask that you keep Jesse and his family in your thoughts and prayers as well as his faculty, student colleagues and ESH colleagues.  We will provide more information for memorial services as soon as that is known,” Heath said.

The statement said that Averitt was expected to graduate in December.

“Jesse was an exceptional student, but more importantly, he was an exceptional person with a big heart and the ability to brighten anyone’s day when they were feeling down,” Heath wrote. “Our sincerest sympathies go out to Jesse’s family, friends, fellow students and colleagues at this most difficulty time—he will be truly missed.”