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Suspect Charged In UK Student Shooting, Memorials Planned

Kentucky Kernel

Lexington police have apprehended and charged 18-year-old Justin Smith with the murder of University of Kentucky student and Kentucky Kernel photographer Jonathan Krueger. Authorities are still seeking others potentially involved in the Friday morning shooting.

In addition to murder, Smith also faces robbery, tampering with physical evidence, and feeling and evading charges. Lexington Police Chief Mark Barnard told reporters the arrest is progress, but cold comfort for those close to Krueger.

"For our part on it, I think within seven hours being able to apprehend one of the individuals and still having a very active case is important," he said. "I don't think there is anything really I can ever say to a family or victim that ever makes them whole again after something like this. And having been in these cases for a while, it's very difficult for families."

Krueger, a 22-year-old junior slated to head up the student-run newspaper’s advertising department next fall, was gunned down walking home early Friday on East Maxwell Street close to Transylvania Park. Officers believe the shooting might have followed an attempted robbery. No prior connection has been established so far between the suspect and the victim.

Mourners flock to Twitter to pay their respects to slain UK student Jonathan Krueger

Remembering Jonathan Krueger

Memorials are springing up on campus and online as family and friends remember the driven photo journalist who was quick with a joke.

"A lot of students work hard here. He was one of those, but he was determined to have fun while he was working," Kernel advisor Chris Poore recalls.

Groomed to be the Kernel’s next advertising manager, Krueger spent close to three years helping out wherever he was needed at the paper. Now, his former newsroom colleagues must go about the task of mourning while covering one of their own.

"They're terribly sad and they're also working. It's a terrible thing to go through, but I think that they feel like in many ways it does well by Jonathan to go a good job with today's publication," Poore says.

Plans are already taking shape for a scholarship in his name.

A memorial organized by the Kernel takes place Monday at 8 PM in Memorial Hall. Students wanting to pay their respects sooner can attend a candlelight vigil tonight at 8 at the Newman Center.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.
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