Within minutes, sheriff's deputies had arrived on the scene and arrested the suspect-but not before he managed to injure 17 classmates.
A 15-year-old student at Marshall County High School in the small town of Benton, Kentucky opened fire at the school at approximately 8 am CST on Tuesday. Four others sustained various injuries.
Bailey Holt and Preston Cope - both 15 years old - died from gunshot wounds. He will be charged with murder. The case will begin in juvenile court but prosecutors will request that the shooter be tried as an adult.
Two of the victims were taken to Nashville, Tennessee's Vanderbilt University Medical Center, which is about 120 miles (193 kilometers) away.
Police Commissioner Richard Sanders said the accused was armed with a handgun when he walked into the school and started shooting.
In a tweet by the Kentucky State Police, Sanders said that a family resource center was set up at Kentucky Agriculture Extension office in Benton. Fourteen victims were male, and six were female.
"I was in the room where the shooting happened, 20 years ago", said Brittney Thomas. I just froze and did not know what to do.
"Just the looks on their faces, it just kind of sticks with you", Mark Garland, an auto shop owner near the school, said. "And they need it just as much as anyone else". They always had a smile on their face and gauge, tge, the one that got injured pretty bad, he is a good buddy of might.
One student told ABC affiliate WHAS in Louisville that he was in the library when he heard what sounded like a fight.
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Kentucky State Police spokesman Jody Cash says authorities have no reason to think there are any other suspects in the fatal shooting at a high school. "Kids were jumping the fence around the school and running through the woods".
Still, Ligon said she and other parents are now anxious about the safety of their children. Then she and her friend gave a ride to some students and loaned them phones to call their parents. Their ages ranged from 15 to 18-years-old. Witnesses said personal items were scattered throughout the school's campus, such as gym bags, as students fled in terror.
His mother, Andrea, rushed to the hospital, bewildered as to why this happened. Matt Bevin and local law enforcement applauded the immediate reaction of students, teachers, and first responders. "You know, was just scared for my life". "And that's not because I'm his mom".
KSP said there are multiple victims and one is dead. His name and mugshot also will not be released. The gunman's stepsister took to Facebook after the shooting, where she claimed he was "not a monster" and that he does not deserve the death penalty, as she has read, according to the Daily Mail.
"We have added security measures over the last couple of years and have gotten some increased funding", Raisor said. "Luckily, we're trained and prepared".
The governor provided some details on Twitter, writing, "Tragic shooting at Marshall County HS..." Authorities have not provided a possible motive.
Bevin said earlier in a statement, "This is a tremendous tragedy and speaks to the heartbreak present in our communities". The girl was airlifted to a hospital in Dallas.
Later in Tuesday evening, the outpouring of support that had been seen on social media became a reality as area churches sponsored prayer vigils.