Kentucky school shooting: 2 students killed, 18 injured

Another high school has turned into a scene of carnage, this time in western Kentucky.Sixteen people were woun...

Posted: Jan 23, 2018 10:42 AM
Updated: Jan 24, 2018 5:47 PM

Another high school has turned into a scene of carnage, this time in western Kentucky.

Sixteen people were wounded, two of them fatally, after a shooter opened fire Tuesday morning at Marshall County High School, authorities said. Four others sustained various injuries.

A wounded special needs student was rescued by student and teacher, mom says

NEW: Student faces two charges of murder, 12 counts of first degree assault

A 15-year-old male student was arrested at the scene and will be charged with murder and attempted murder, Gov. Matt Bevin said. Marshall County Attorney Jeff Edwards said it's likely the suspect will be charged as an adult, but his name won't be released unless he's indicted.

Authorities identified the slain victims as Bailey Holt and Preston Cope, both 15. Bailey died at the high school, and Preston died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, according to Kentucky State Police Commissioner Richard W. Sanders.

Sanders said the suspect, armed with a handgun, walked into the school at 8:57 a.m. ET and started shooting. The first 911 call came two minutes later.

The victims ranged from 14 to 18, state police said. Fourteen were male and six female.

'Mom, there's been a shooting'

Some parents said their children told them the shooting started in the commons area before class, CNN affiliate WSMV reported.

Missy Hufford said her son, Ethan, 15, ran into the gymnasium and out of the building through a side door. Then he called and asked her to pick him up, she said.

"I know when he called me, he said, 'Mom, there's been a shooting.' And I asked him if he was OK, and he said, 'I'm running,' " WSMV reported.

Misty Green said her daughter, Morgan, was in the commons area and "heard the 'pop, pop, pop' and initially got down, and then just realized what was going on, so they took out running out of the building as fast as they could."

"And teachers were grabbing kids up and helping them get into safe places. And helping them get outside and get to a safe location," Green told WSMV.

Junior Taylor Droke told CNN affiliate WZTV that she and a friend were running late and arrived as students poured out of the school.

"You could see students dropping their bags and just start running, pushing past each other," she said. "Everyone in cars started turning around and driving away. Kids were jumping the fence around the school and running through the woods."

Droke said she contacted her mother on FaceTime. Then she and her friend gave a ride to some students and loaned them phones to call their parents.

"Everyone just left their bags and ran, so people had no cell phones," Droke said.

Shot in the arm

Daniel Austin, a 17-year-old special needs student, was hospitalized. His parents kept calling his cell phone until someone in the emergency room picked up and said Daniel had been shot.

His mother, Andrea, rushed to the hospital, bewildered as to why this happened.

"Teachers love him. Students love him. I don't think (anyone) can say one bad thing about him," Andrea Austin said. "And that's not because I'm his mom. Everybody loves him."

Austin said her son was shot in the right arm, which might need to be amputated. She lauded the heroics of a fellow student and a teacher, who quickly scooped up Daniel after the gunfire stopped, rushed him to a car and drove him to a hospital.

Trooper thought deceased victim was his daughter

Sanders, the state police commissioner, said authorities are praying for the victims. The carnage was especially hard on first responders.

One of the first state troopers to arrive at the high school thought Bailey, the student who died at the school, was his daughter, Sanders said. The trooper's daughter had been dropped off at the school that morning, and she and the victim were wearing similar clothing, Sanders said.

"He had to go over to convince himself that that was not his daughter," Sanders said.

State police said six victims, including Preston, were taken to Vanderbilt in Nashville, about 100 miles away.

Among the injuries, three students were shot in the head, Dr. Oscar Guillamondegui, medical director of Vanderbilt's trauma intensive care unit, told reporters.

Three victims remained in critical condition at Vanderbilt late Tuesday, and one was in stable condition at the hospital, state police said.

"We're just as devastated as anybody would be," Guillamondegui said. "Luckily, we're trained and prepared."

Marshall County Schools Superintendent Trent Lovett asked the community to "wrap your arms around these families and around these students, as you always have."

"Together with the community, we will begin the long healing process within our schools. God be with us all," Lovett said.

2 school shootings in 2 days

The violence in Marshall County, a rural area near the western tip of Kentucky, stunned the governor. Authorities have not provided a possible motive.

"It is unbelievable that this would happen in a small, close-knit community like Marshall County," Bevin said in a statement. "This is a tremendous tragedy and speaks to the heartbreak present in our communities."

It also stirred painful memories of the 1997 school shooting that killed three students in West Paducah -- just 32 miles from the high school in Benton.

Tuesday's attack came one day after another school shooting, in Texas.

On Monday, a 15-year-old female student was shot in the city of Italy, officials said. She was taken by helicopter to a hospital in Dallas. The suspect, a 16-year-old male, was "apprehended within minutes," city officials said.

The motive for that shooting also remains unclear.

At least two dozen prayer vigils and prayer circles were planned for Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the high school.

Giffords: 'Devastating news'

Former US Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who survived a gunshot wound during a January 2011 assassination attempt in Tucson, Arizona, said the Kentucky shooting again demonstrates the need for stronger gun laws.

"The devastating news about the shooting in Kentucky this morning is the latest example, but just yesterday, while the nation's attention was focused on the government shutdown, school shootings were also reported in Texas and Louisiana," Giffords said in a statement.

"Our nation has experienced 13 mass shootings already this year, and it's only January. We will never accept these horrific acts of violence as routine."

Lafayette
Cloudy
40° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 40°
Kokomo
Cloudy
38° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 20°
Feels Like: 29°
Rensselaer
Cloudy
34° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 34°
Lafayette
Cloudy
40° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 40°
Danville
Cloudy
39° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 33°
Frankfort
Cloudy
39° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 32°
Frankfort
Cloudy
39° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 32°
Monticello
Cloudy
36° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 22°
Feels Like: 31°
Monticello
Cloudy
36° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 31°
Logansport
Cloudy
34° wxIcon
Hi: 41° Lo: 20°
Feels Like: 34°
Warmest weather since December is ahead with good timing with the weekend rainfall...
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

WLFI is promoting fire safety with FREE smoke detectors

 WLFI and several local fire departments are helping with your fire safety this winter. CLICK HERE. 

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 659127

Reported Deaths: 12494
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion903271628
Lake48239872
Allen35663632
Hamilton31929395
St. Joseph29721510
Elkhart25306412
Vanderburgh21173377
Tippecanoe19873199
Johnson16290355
Porter15896268
Hendricks15765300
Clark11885179
Madison11704315
Vigo11538229
Monroe10285159
Delaware9815178
LaPorte9732195
Howard9030195
Kosciusko8529108
Bartholomew7412147
Hancock7392128
Warrick7389147
Floyd7172165
Wayne6616189
Grant6411157
Morgan6054124
Boone605388
Dubois5885111
Dearborn542366
Henry540792
Marshall5406104
Cass539699
Noble508176
Jackson463664
Shelby459390
Lawrence4165111
Gibson401081
Harrison397061
Clinton393753
Montgomery384283
DeKalb384078
Knox355784
Miami355663
Whitley347835
Huntington341276
Steuben337155
Wabash329776
Putnam327359
Ripley325661
Adams321549
Jasper314243
White296151
Jefferson293370
Daviess284696
Fayette270856
Decatur269788
Greene260679
Posey260131
Wells256574
Scott249649
LaGrange240570
Clay239744
Randolph225276
Spencer216630
Jennings214144
Washington209327
Sullivan202639
Fountain200942
Starke186950
Owen181853
Fulton177737
Jay177328
Carroll176118
Perry173035
Orange170750
Rush164322
Vermillion159541
Franklin158835
Tipton145841
Parke138415
Pike127432
Blackford120327
Pulaski106444
Newton96431
Brown94839
Benton91613
Crawford90413
Martin80014
Switzerland7527
Warren75212
Union66910
Ohio52911
Unassigned0429

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events