At least two people were killed Tuesday in Benton, Ky., after a shooter opened fire on students and faculty at a local high school. Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin said at least 17 others were also injured in the attack on Marshall County High School, 12 of whom sustained gunshot wounds.
Both of the victims, a girl who died on the scene and a boy who died of his wounds later at a hospital, were 15 years old.
“We are trying to determine that everyone of those that has been shot was a student. It is our belief that they are,” Bevin said at a news conference Tuesday.
“The shooter was a student, a 15-year-old male,” he added. “That student is in custody. That student was apprehended at the scene.”
Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rick Sanders explained that the suspect began shooting just before 8 a.m., and that first responders arrived on the scene within 10 minutes of the first gunshot. The shooter was soon arrested in a “nonviolent” fashion and will be charged with murder and attempted murder, according to Bevin.
“I did not see the shooter, but I did see the commons after. It was a disaster. Everyone just dropped their stuff and ran,” Allissa Hubbard, 16, told member station WKMS.
She had been in the library when a series of loud pops rang out and students began to run outside. According to WKMS, Hubbard hid beneath a set of stairs with another girl as they listened to the screams of their teachers.
“I’m terrified,” she added. “I’ve been feeling like I’m going to throw up all day long. It was awful.”
“It was the most frightening thing,” Gloria Hollifield, a parent, told WKMS. “I’m 60-some years old and I’ve never been so damn scared in my entire life.”
“I know I speak for communities across my home state in sending prayers of comfort and healing to students, faculty and everyone affected by this violence,” Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said on the Senate floor midday Tuesday morning as information about the shooting was beginning to surface.
“Our hearts are with the entire community in Marshall County and our gratitude is with the first responders who rushed into harm’s way.”