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Murray man charged after incident involving Molotov cocktail-style explosive near MSU campus

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Murray Ledger & Times
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Jessica Jones Paine

A Murray man is facing charges after an incident Saturday involving a Molotov cocktail-style explosive device near Murray State University’s campus.

Jack T. Epperson, 19, is charged with two counts of attempted assault and one count of possession of a destructive device, according to a Kentucky State Police release.

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Kentucky State Police
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Jack T. Epperson

The release states that a male, later identified as Epperson, allegedly approached several female students gathered near a housing complex at the southwest corner of campus around 9:30 a.m.

The Murray Ledger & Times reported Saturday morning a witness said Epperson exited a vehicle near the campus’ sorority row as students prepared for the Lambda Chi Watermelon Bust event “yelling at someone … brandishing a knife.”

Witnesses said Epperson produced the explosive and threw it in the direction of the students, suffering burns to his hands before fleeing the area in a vehicle.

None of the students were injured.

KSP, with the assistance of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, conducted interviews and collected evidence before locating and charging Epperson.

Epperson was taken to Murray-Calloway County Hospital, where he was treated for burn injuries before being booked into the Calloway County Detention Center.

Troopers and agents were assisted by officers with the Murray State University Police and the Murray Police Department, and the Calloway County Sheriff's Office.

The ongoing investigation is being handled by the Kentucky State Police.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives is conducting a separate investigation relating to the destructive device.

A native of western Kentucky, Operle earned his bachelor's degree in integrated strategic communications from the University of Kentucky in 2014. Operle spent five years working for Paxton Media/The Paducah Sun as a reporter and editor. In addition to his work in the news industry, Operle is a passionate movie lover and concertgoer.