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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Teenager opens fire at classmates in deadly school shooting

(CNN) 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 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 years old. Bailey died at the high school and Preston died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, according to 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 was received two minutes later.
The victims ranged from 14 to 18 years old, state police said. Fourteen were male and six were female.

'Mom, there's been a shooting'

Several parents said their children told them the shooting started in the commons area before classes startedCNN 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.
Parent 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 cellphones," Droke said.

Shot in the arm

Daniel Austin, a 17-year-old special needs student, was hospitalized. His parents called his cell phone incessantly 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 anything 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 was dropped off at the 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 University Medical Center in Nashvillle, about 100 miles away.
Among the injuries, three students were shot in the head, Dr. Oscar Guillamondegui, medical director of the trauma intensive care unit, told reporters earlier.
Three victims remained critical condition at Vanderbilt late Tuesday and one victim was in stable condition at the hospital, state police said.
"There's never a day you're prepared to be happy like a moment like this," Guillamondegui said. "We're just as devastated as anybody would be. 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 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."

Kentucky school shooting: 2 students killed, 18 injured Holly YanAnneClaire Stapleton and Paul P. Murphy, CNN January 24, 2018

Vox Sentences: There have already been 2 school shootings in the US this week Ella Nilsen and Rachel Wolfe 

A 15-YEAR-OLD student killed two classmates and hit 17 others with gunfire, methodically firing a handgun inside a crowded atrium at his rural Kentucky high school on Tuesday.
He was determined. He knew what he was doing,” said Alexandria Caporali, who grabbed her stunned friend and ran into a classroom as their classmates hit the floor.
“It was one right after another — bang bang bang bang bang,” she added. “You could see his arm jerking as he was pulling the trigger.”
He kept firing, she said, until he ran out of ammunition and took off running, trying to get away. Police arrested their suspect moments later, leading him away in handcuffs to be charged with murder and attempted murder.
Authorities did not identify the gunman responsible for the nation’s first fatal school shooting of 2018, nor did they release any details about a motive. Kentucky State Police Lt. Michael Webb said detectives are looking into his home and background.
“He was apprehended by the sheriff’s department here on site, at the school, thankfully before any more lives could be taken,” Lt. Webb said.
Seventeen students were injured, 12 of them hit with bullets and five others hurt in the scramble as hundreds of students fled for their lives from Marshall County High School.
The two fatalities were 15 years old: A girl died at the scene, and a boy died later at a hospital, Gov. Matt Bevin said, adding that all of the victims are believed to be students. The deceased victims have been identified as Preston Cope and Bailey Nicole Holt.
The dead boy was among five young men, including three with gunshot wounds to the head and one shot in the chest, who were flown about 193 kilometres to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.
The shooting occurred at the Marshall County High School in Benton, Kentucky, a town approximately 193 kilometres northwest of Nashville.
Nearly 100 children ran out of the school seeking safety, said Mitchell Garland, who rushed outside of his business when he heard about the shooting.
“They was running and crying and screaming,” he said. “They was just kids running down the highway. They were trying to get out of there.”
Many jumped into cars, or ran across fields and down the highway, some not stopping until they reached a McDonald’s restaurant more than a mile away. Parents left their cars on both sides of an adjacent road, desperately trying to find their teenagers.
Ambulances and numerous police cars converged on the school. Officers in black fatigues carrying assault rifles showed up as well. Federal authorities also responded, and Kentucky Gov. Bevin ran out of the Capitol to rush to the school.
Rep. James Comer, who represents Kentucky’s 1st congressional district, tweeted: “My thoughts & prayers go out to the students & faculty at Marshall County High School where there has been a tragic school shooting.”
The gunfire happened in a common area before classes began, according to Brian Roy, the county’s former sheriff, who told the Louisville Courier-Journal he had spoken with people at the scene.
The governor and several people in Benton said they couldn’t believe a mass shooting would happen in their small, close-knit town. But many such shootings across the US have happened in rural communities.
Marshall County High School is about 30 minutes from Heath High School in Paducah, Kentucky, where a 1997 mass shooting killed three and injured five. Michael Carneal, then 14, opened fire there about two years before the fatal attack at Columbine High School in Colorado, ushering in an era when mass school shootings have become much more common.
It’s horrifying that we can no longer call school shootings ‘unimaginable’ because the reality is they happen with alarming frequency,” said former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who survived being shot in the head in 2011. She called on Congress to strengthen gun laws.
Tuesday’s shooting, moments before classes would have begun, disrupted some happy moments in the noisy “commons” area at the centre of the school, where several hallways meet and students gather between classes.
Lexie Waymon, 16, said she and a friend were talking about the next basketball game, makeup and eyelashes when gunshots pierced the air.
“I blacked out. I couldn’t move. I got up and I tried to run, but I fell. I heard someone hit the ground. It was so close to me,” Waymon said. “I just heard it and then I just, everything was black for a good minute. Like, I could not see anything. I just froze and did not know what to do. Then I got up and I ran.”
Her friend, Baleigh Culp, told the AP in a text message that they were joking and laughing until they heard a loud bang that sounded like someone’s books hitting the floor.
“That’s what I expected it to be, until I saw a body drop on the ground,” Culp wrote. “There was bullets flying everywhere. I ran straight out the door and headed to the highway as fast as I could.”
Miss Waymon did not stop running either, not even when she called her mom to tell her what happened. She made it to the McDonald’s, her chest hurting, struggling to breathe. “All I could keep thinking was, ‘I can’t believe this is happening. I cannot believe this is happening,”’ she said.
Barry Mann said his 14-year-old son was put on a bus and taken to another school for him to pick up.
“He gave me a call as soon as he run out the door and I didn’t know what was happening to him,” he told the AP. “It sounded like his heart was in his throat.”
Mr Garland said his 16-year-old son jumped into someone’s car and sped away before reaching his office.
“Everyone is just scared. Just terrified for their kids,” Mr Garland said. “We’re a small town and we know a lot of the kids.”
The school was reportedly on lockdown as law enforcement officials continued work at the scene.
According to data compiled by the Gun Violence Archive, which relies on media reports and other information, this was the year’s first fatal school shooting, 23 days in to 2018.
“It is unbelievable that this would happen in a small, close-knit community like Marshall County. As there is still much unknown, I encourage people to love each other,” Gov. Bevin later said in a statement.

Recent school shootings in the US Zoe Szathmary, Madeline Farber | Fox News Jan 24, 2018

Motive is still a mystery in mass shooting at Kentucky high school BRUCE SCHREINER AND DYLAN LOVAN ASSOCIATED PRESS January 24 2018

A Prescription for Mass Murder 2 October 5, 2017

American Carnage: Man shot his son, daughter and her fiancé before killing himself 20 GENNAIO 2018

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