Marshall County school shooting sends many into shock


High school students evacuate the building after school shooting.

Macee Trottner, Ranger Review Reporter

On Tuesday, January 23, 2018 Marshall County High School in Benton, Kentucky erupted into gunfire. The shooting took place in the morning towards the beginning of the school day. There is still a lot of information that has not been released about the shooting including who the shooter was.

According to CBSN, Kentucky Representative James Comer said that the shooter, who is in custody, is a student attending the high school. Authorities have reported that 16 people have been injured and two people were fatally wounded after the shooting.

“Four people that were reported wounded were transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville by helicopter,” said Jerry Jones, LifeFlight spokesperson. The ages and extent of their injuries were unknown.

Nearby business owner, Mitchell Garland, said that he rushed outside after hearing the gunshots coming from the school and reported seeing nearly 100 students running from the school’s building.  

“They were running and crying and screaming,” Garland told the Associated Press. “There were just kids running down the highway. They were trying to get out of there.”

Governor Matt Bevin rushed out of the capitol and to the high school in order to help out. Along with the governor, about a half-dozen ambulances and numerous police officers converged the school as well as officers in black fatigues carrying assault rifles.  

Bailey Holt and Preston Cope, both fifteen years old, were the two fatalities in the shooting. Holt was a sophomore and was reported to have called her mom before she died after she had gotten shot. Her mom claimed knowing something was wrong when she did not see her daughter getting off of any of the busses that transported the students to a safe school nearby.

“She called me and all I could hear was voices, chaos in the background,” Bailey’s mother, Secret Holt, told ABC affiliate WKRN on Wednesday. “She couldn’t say anything and I tried to call her name over and over and over and she never responded.”

Cope, also a sophomore, died while he was at Vanderbilt University Medical Center according to Kentucky State Police Commissioner Richard W. Sanders. He was a baseball player and was remembered for his positive outlook on life and his love for baseball.

The shooter is 15-years-old and attends Marshall County High School. He was reported to have been armed with a handgun, and arrived at the school at 8:57 a.m. ET and opened fire. Authorities say the first 911 call came two minutes later. The shooter was arrested at the scene and was charged with two counts of murder and 12 counts of first degree assault. The suspect’s name has still not been released to the authorities and remains anonymous.

The parents of students attending the school were contacted immediately and were able to pick their children up off campus where they were transported to. Students and parents will continue grieving the loss of Holt and Cope while remembering the lives they had.