FLORENCE, Ky. – If Thursday's news of a local teen allegedly trying to kill his parents in their home sounds familiar, you might be thinking of Clay Shrout.
Shrout was a high school junior, like the 16-year-old accused in the Butler County house fire Wednesday night. But Shrout’s deed was even more horrible.
He killed his whole family.
It was almost 20 years ago: May 26, 1994. Shrout, 17, got up early, about 5 a.m., and shot his mother and father while they slept in their upscale Florence house. Then he walked down the hallway and shot his sisters, ages 14 and 12, after they woke up, he said in a police interview.
Shrout then drove to the house of a girl he had taken to the prom two weeks earlier. He showed her the gun, grabbed her by the arm and walked her to his Jeep.
Then he went to school.
He walked into his first class at Ryle High, showed the trigonometry teacher the gun, and sat down at her desk.
He silently held the teacher, 22 classmates and his kidnapped prom date hostage for about 10 minutes, until an assistant principal knocked on the door and offered to trade places with them.
Shrout let the others go and gave up the gun about five minutes later when the first police officer arrived at the door.
Shrout later told police he was mad at his parents for taking away his weapons because he was flunking English.
Shrout had a stun gun, a sword, knives, numchucks and a BB gun, but there were no reports that he ever threatened anyone with them. A few days before killing his family, he had taken the stun gun to school and an assistant principal had confiscated it.
He told police there were two reasons she shot his sisters.
"The first one was I didn't want them to have to live without their parents," he said. "And also my older sister, she had enough intelligence to pick up the phone and call the police.”
Shrout pleaded guilty by reason of insanity and was sentenced to life with parole after 25 years.