Two teenagers died and over a dozen of students were left injured after a student who was 15 years old opened fire using a handgun at a high school in Kentucky.
Scared pupils ran for their lives, leaving their bags behind and rushing to get away from Marshall County High School that is located in Benton, Kentucky – around 120 miles northwest of Nashville, as numerous police cars, ambulances, and officers with assault rifles raced to the scene.
Students were reported to have attempted to break down gates and fences in a panic to escape the school building as the shooting started.
A 15-year-old girl was reported to have died at the scene, while a 15-year-old boy was declared dead at a local hospital. The boy was one of the six people who were flown to a hospital in the wake of the gunfire. None of the teens that were involved in the said shooting has been identified.
A 17-year-old student at the school, Greg Rodgers, informed NBC News: “I’m distraught from all of it. I couldn’t really focus driving home. I was shaking a lot driving back to my house. I’m still shaking.”
Of the 17 students who were injured, 12 were victims of the gunshot while five obtained injuries while trying to escape. At a news conference, Governor Matt Bevin said that a girl died at the scene.
Richard Sanders, the Kentucky State Police Commissioner, said that the shooter walked into the school armed with a handgun and began shooting. The governor said that the youth was arrested at the scene “in a non-violent way.” According to police, the suspect is presumed to be charged with murder and attempted murder.
At the news conference at the county Board of Education, Governor Bevin stopped to collect himself as his voice drowned with emotion, while talking about the victims and calling on the gathered media to manifest restraint in their reporting.
Governor Bevin stated: “I beg of you again – respect the fact that these children belong to this community and to specific families in this community. And this is a wound that is going take a long time to heal. And for some in this community, it will never fully heal.”
There was no word on the potential motive for the shooting. ”There’s no good answer for it,” Mr Bevin said. “There are 1,000 hypotheses we’re not going to go into.”
Governor Bevin urged the public to “not speculate or spread hearsay” about the said incident. Agents from the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have joined the investigation.
Later, Mr Bevin also issued a statement in his Twitter account, in which he said that it was “unbelievable that this would happen in a small, close-knit community like Marshall County” and cautioned the public to “allow the facts to come out.”
Mitchell Garland, a local business owner, said that the students were “crying and screaming” while they were running out of the school in the immediate wake of the said shooting.
“Everyone is just scared. Just terrified for their kids,” said Mr Garland. “We’re a small town, and we know a lot of the kids.”
School shootings have occurred in Texas, California, Illinois, Ohio, Washington, and New Mexico already this year, even though this is the first fatal school shooting that was recorded during the year.
Marshall County High School is around 30 minutes away from Heath High School in Paducah, Kentucky wherein in 1997, a 14-year-old boy opened fire on students, leaving three dead and five injured.
“It’s horrifying that we can no longer call school shootings ‘unimaginable’ because the reality is they happen with alarming frequency,” stated Gabrielle Giffords, the former Rep who survived being shot in the head way back in 2011. She called on the Congress to toughen gun laws.