A Clay County magistrate stabbed his wife several times early Wednesday, then shot and killed himself, according to local authorities.
Police don't know why James "Jimbo" Lyttle attacked his wife, Manchester police Chief Chris Fultz said.
Sharon Lyttle, 47, survived the attack. She was in serious condition Wednesday afternoon at the University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital, a spokeswoman said.
The attack happened just after 6 a.m. at the couple's home in East Manchester.
The couple's two sons were home at the time, and one of them called 911, Fultz said.
When emergency workers arrived, Sharon Lyttle said her husband had stabbed her, Fultz said.
James Lyttle, 51, went to an outbuilding after ambulance workers were called and shot himself, authorities said.
Lyttle died from a gunshot to the head from a .38-caliber revolver, Clay County Coroner Danny Finley said.
"We know what happened. We just don't know why," Fultz said Wednesday.
Finley said drug and alcohol use were not suspected as factors in the case.
Lyttle was in his first term as a magistrate.
County Judge-Executive Joe Asher said the case had shocked residents.
"Super-nice guy, well-liked throughout this community," Asher said of James Lyttle.
Asher said a relative of the Lyttles told him Wednesday that the couple had had dinner Tuesday with family and that nothing seemed amiss.
James Lyttle worked in maintenance for the county school system, and he and his wife also had a small store that sold items such as cigarettes and soft drinks, Asher said.
Gov. Steve Beshear will appoint a replacement for Lyttle, Asher said.