Police charge UK students in connection to fatal near-campus shooting

A Lexington police car escorts an ambulance on the corner of Woodland Avenue and Columbia after reports of shots fired on Saturday. Photo by Michael Reaves | Staff

Will Wright

Two UK students were arrested and charged with first degree robbery in connection to Saturday’s fatal shooting on the 500 block of Woodland Avenue near campus.

Jaydon Bryce Whalen, a 19-year-old education freshman, and Nicholas Vincent Coriaci, an 18-year-old business freshman, were arrested Monday. Police took into custody Alexander Ferrell, a 19-year-old freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences, who is being held in the Fayette County Detention Center.

According to a press release from the Lexington Police Department, detectives learned the three suspects, along with 28-year-old James Nathaniel Gordon, planned to rob a male acquaintance under the guise of a drug deal.

They met at about 2:18 a.m. Saturday about a block from the Woodland Glen residence halls, home to more than 2,000 UK students.

During their meeting, the three suspects and Gordon showed a weapon and attempted to rob the male acquaintance, according to the press release.

The acquaintance then pulled out a gun and shot Coriaci and Gordon. Gordon later died at the UK Chandler Hospital, but Coriaci’s wound was a non life-threatening gunshot to the shoulder.

The shooter is claiming self-defense, is currently not being charged, and was not identified in the press release.

“Lexington Police are leading this investigation and UK Police are assisting. To the extent that there are potential violations of the student code of conduct involved, the university will proceed accordingly with a full review. Student code of conduct disciplinary proceedings are confidential as prescribed by federal student privacy laws,” UK Police Chief Joe Monroe said. “At this time, it would be inappropriate to comment further as the police investigation is ongoing  and nothing should be done that would potentially compromise its progress.”

Gordon’s Facebook profile said he was from Clarkson, Kentucky, and was a student at Spencerian College in Lexington. He lived in Lexington, according to a police press release.

Within the past year, there have been at least five shootings in student neighborhoods or in student-occupied apartment buildings, four of which included fatalities.