Tragic Outcome in Florence: Previous Convict Kills Four at Birthday Party Amid Gun Law Controversy

Florence, KY — Early Saturday morning, a tragedy unfolded at a 21st birthday party in Florence, Kentucky, where a gunman opened fire, killing four and wounding three others before fatally shooting himself. The incident has sparked significant concern and questions about how the gunman, identified as 21-year-old Chase Garvey, was free despite his criminal record.

Authorities identified the victims as Delaney Eary, 19; Hayden Rybicki, 20; Melissa Parrett, 44; and Shane Miller, 20, all of whom were attending the celebration. The conditions of the three injured parties have since stabilized, according to local police reports.

Kenton County Commonwealth’s Attorney Rob Sanders revealed that Garvey was a convicted felon and was on probation at the time of the shooting. Garvey had previously been convicted in connection with a sexual offense involving a minor. “If there was something we could have known then in order to prevent the tragedy last weekend, we certainly would have done it,” Sanders stated, expressing remorse over the incident.

In August 2021, Garvey, then 18, was charged with rape and sodomy of a 13-year-old girl in nearby Fort Mitchell, an incident that first brought him into the public safety spotlight. The relationship began over social media, and at the time, Garvey had no prior criminal record.

The case took a turn when the victim’s mother expressed her desire to protect her daughter from the ordeal of a public trial. “She made it clear that she didn’t think it was in her daughter’s best interest to have a public trial involving her testimony,” Sanders explained. Subsequently, the charge was resolved as an unlawful transaction with a minor, second degree, which led to Garvey’s felony conviction.

Sanders pointed out that the felony conviction should have prevented Garvey from legally possessing any firearm. “Whatever gun that he had in Florence to kill four people and wound three others is a gun that should have never been in his possession,” Sanders emphasized.

Despite his felony conviction, Garvey was sentenced to five years probation. However, his record was not entirely clean during this period. He had been cited for a traffic violation in Boone County where he was caught performing doughnuts in a vehicle. “He violated probation one time for a traffic infraction,” Sanders added, highlighting the challenges in monitoring probation compliance.

Efforts were made by the prosecutor’s office to push for more severe consequences following the probation violation. “We sought to revoke his sentence. The judge, instead of revoking the entire allowing for a review of his sentence, ordered him to serve 30 days in the county jail,” Sanders noted, expressing frustration over the outcome.

If Garvey had been convicted of the original charges, he could have faced a different path, potentially still being in jail pending parole. This case has led to broader discussions on the intersection of judicial discretion, public safety, and the effectiveness of the probation system.

The judge involved in the 2021 case has declined to comment on the matter at this time. The community, meanwhile, continues to grieve the loss of life and seek answers to how such a tragedy could have been prevented.