Shooter in custody: Police lead the shooter, a 15-year-old male student away after he opened fire on classmates at Marshall County High School in Kentucky on Tuesday morning. Two students are dead and 19 others injured.
Officials said one person is dead and multiple people were wounded Tuesday morning Two students have been reported dead. 19 others were injured after a 15-year-old male student opened fire on his classmates at a Kentucky high school on Tuesday morning.
Law enforcement Tuesday night identified the deceased as 15-year-old Bailey Nicole Holt, who died at the scene, and 15-year-old Preston Ryan Cope, who died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center after being flown by helicopter.
Police said the shooting erupted at Marshall County High School in Benton on Tuesday just before 8am when the teenager walked in armed with a handgun.
The shooter, a 15-year-old male student was arrested at the scene. He will be charged with two counts of murder and multiple counts of attempted murder, according to the Kentucky State Police, who said they believe he acted alone.
Victims: Preston Cope [left], and Bailey Holt [right], both 15 died on Tuesday after a classmate opened fire in a crowded common area at Marshal County High School on in Benton, KY
The suspect on Tuesday entered a common area at the school, pulled out a handgun and began firing at students, state police said in a statement.
The first fatality was 15-year-old Bailey Holt, pronounced dead at the scene. Preston Cope later died in hospital from his injuries.
Bailey was described by friends as ‘always so happy’ and an ‘angel’. Her boyfriend remains in hospital after a bullet tore through his right cheek bone and passed through his ear. Meanwhile Preston is being remembered for his love of baseball and positive outlook on life.
Five female and 13 male students ranging from ages 14 to 18 were also injured.
At least 14 of the injured were transported to hospital, some via helicopter, suffering gunshot wounds. Another five suffered related injuries, but were not shot.
Police were seen leading a teenager away in handcuffs after he was apprehended by a Marshall County Sheriff’s Deputy roughly 15 minutes after the shooting broke out.
Police responded to the call at 8 a.m,, authorities announced the school was secured just after 10 a.m. It wasn’t immediately clear how many were wounded or how severely, a state police spokesman said.
Bailey Holt, 15, died at the scene and her 17-year-old boyfriend was also shot in the face
Police and rescue crews respond to Marshall County High School after a fatal school shooting in Benton, Ky on Tuesday, Jan 23
Kentucky’s Department of Education confirmed the fatality.
“Please join me in keeping Marshall County High School and the community in our thoughts and prayers in the work of this morning’s tragic school shooting,” Kentucky Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt said in a tweeted statement.
Gov. Matt Bevin called the shooting “a tremendous tragedy and speaks to the heartbreak present in our communities.”
“As there is still much unknown, I encourage people to love on each other at this time,” he said in a statement. “Do not speculate, but come alongside each other in support and allow the facts to come out.”
Police activity at the scene during school in Benton, K, Tuesday morning. Authorities said a shooting suspect was in custody
A heavy police presence was at the school following the shooting, as ambulances and law enforcement vehicles flooded the Benton school, located about 120 miles north of Nashville, TN.
Five patients, including Cope, suffering from gun shot injuries were rushed to Vanderbilt University Medical Center facilities in Nashville, a spokesperson for the center told the Tennessean.
Cope had suffered a gunshot wound to the head.
Five of the other victims transported suffered gunshot wounds to the arms, chest and abdomen are all hospitalized in critical condition.
The teen suspect is being held at a regional juvenile jail in Paducah, about a half-hour away from the high school. The case against him will begin in juvenile court, which is closed to the public and the records sealed under Kentucky law.
Prosecutors will request a judge move it to adult court, at which point the details will no longer be secret.
Curiously, the suspect’s family have also taken to social media in his defense, saying he was sweet and smart.
His stepsister described him as a ‘young boy who was always laughing, smart and loved chemistry’.
‘I don’t care that his dad and my mother got divorced last year and I haven’t been able to see him much since then,’ she said. ‘He is my family. He isn’t a monster.’
‘He doesn’t deserve to die like I’ve seen so many people say. He is a kid who is hurting.’