On Tuesday a student who was only 15 opened fire at a rural Kentucky high school. The shooter managed to kill two people and wounded over a dozen more according to authorities.
Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin told media that 5 other people suffered injuries that were not the result of gunfire but of the chaos that erupted throughout Marshall County High School. Police have said they believe that all of the victims were students of the Benton school.
Gov. Bevin said that the shooter would be charged with both murder and attempted murder. He said that the attack was a “wound that would take a long time to heal” and that it may never heal for the family members of the deceased victims.
The shooting itself began in the school’s common area early in the morning before classes started around 8:00 a.m. Emergency services were contacted almost immediately and police arrived at the scene at 8:06 a.m. with the shooter arrested in what Bevin described as a “non-violent apprehension”.
Two 15-year-old students were killed, one died at the scene and another later in hospital. Jeff Edwards, the Marshall County Attorney, said that the attack did not appear to have targeted any specific people.
Edwards said that he was stunned by the scene he found at the school, were backpacks lay scattered and mobile phones discarded in the panic were ringing with calls from concerned loved ones. He said it was “not like anything” he had experienced before.
The Kentucky state police, FBI as well as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were active on the crime scene.
Students were evacuated in buses from the highschool to a middle school that war nearby. The town of Benton in Western Kentucky is close-knit, with less than 5000 residents. Many victims were taken to a hospital in Nashville which is around 120 miles Southwest of Benton.
Bevin made a separate statement stating that this was a “tremendous tragedy” and that it was “unbelievable” that it could happen in Marshall County. On Twitter he encouraged community members to support each other and not to speculate or spread hearsay.
A 17-year-old disabled student, Daniel Austin, was amongst the victims who were injured in the gunfire. He was evacuated from the scene and was one of the students flown to a medical centre in Nashville.
Daniel’s brother described him as a “positive” member of the school community and was thankful his odds of survival were good.
As with many past school shootings in the United States, the incident at Marshall County has generated a huge outcry of concern about the current state of gun laws. Many believe the current guns laws are too relaxed and enable dangerous people ease of access to deadly weapons.