Bailey Holt and Preston Cope – two teenagers remembered for their positive personalities – have been named as the two deceased victims in the Marshall County High School school shooting in Benton, Kentucky.
Authorities say the mass shooting was perpetrated by a student at the Kentucky school who, like Bailey and Preston, was 15. The shooting occurred in the commons area of the school. In addition to Bailey and Preston, other victims’ names are becoming known.
One of the wounded victims was named as Daniel Austin. According to CNN, he is “a 17-year-old special needs student” whose parents “called his cell phone incessantly until someone in the emergency room picked up and said Daniel had been shot.” He was shot in an arm that might need amputation, the cable news network reported.
According to WTHR-TV, these are the numbers of victims:
- Two high school students are dead. “A girl was killed immediately, and a boy died later at a hospital, the governor said, adding that all of the victims are believed to be students,” the television station reported.
- Nineteen high school students were injured.
- Of the 19, 14 suffered gunshot wounds. CNN reported that three victims were shot in the head and five are in critical condition
On social media, friends remembered Preston Cope and Bailey Holt as people who never uttered a negative word.
Some videos have emerged that show the aftermath of the scene at the Kentucky School shooting in Benton, and they revealed details from the perspective of eyewitnesses. The call initially came in as an active shooter, and the shooter is in custody. The 15-year-old suspect, a student at the school, has not yet been identified. You can watch one of the videos from Marshall County High School here:
This video was posted on social media and features a man describing eyewitness accounts. In it, a student describes being in the commons area of the school when gunfire broke out. She said that one of her friends was shot. “I’m just startled. I’m trying to gather myself that this is actually happening,” she said.
“I was talking to one of my buddies in the commons, and he was shot in the chest,” said another student in the video. Witnesses said personal items were scattered throughout the school’s campus, such as gym bags, as students fled in terror.
Police scanner traffic described a chaotic scene aftermath, in which law enforcement and first responders tended to multiple victims, students were reported to be hiding in closets and the woods and having panic attacks, and frantic parents sought information. Authorities have not released the names of the suspect or any victims, nor have they provided any details on motive.
Preliminary accounts of the number of students wounded varied. “As of right now, all patients have been transported that we’re aware of,” police said in the live scanner traffic. You can listen to it here.
According to the scanner traffic, one victim had a shot to the torso and one had a graze wound. Police indicated on the scanner that the number of those wounded might have risen to as many as 10 people as students continued to be located throughout the school area and transported to hospitals.
The governor provided some details on Twitter, writing, “Tragic shooting at Marshall County HS…Shooter is in custody, one confirmed fatality, multiple others wounded…Much yet unknown…Please do not speculate or spread hearsay…Let’s let the first responders do their job and be grateful that they are there to do it for us…” Tragically, the number of fatalities then grew to two.
One student was reported to have a broken ankle. News of the shooting first broke on social media, especially on Twitter, with multiple people offering prayers for the school community.
According to the scanner traffic, there was a report of several students hiding in the woods, and authorities were focusing some attention on the commons area of the school. “Pray for Marshall County High School, I am a student there and we just had a school shooter, multiple students injured, please pray for us,” wrote one person on Twitter.
You can listen to an archive of the police scanner audio here:
Another woman wrote on Facebook that her nephew was safe, as frantic family members sought news of loved ones. “Prayers for Marshall County high school! My nephew… is safe and sound! Had to talk to him and hear his voice and tell him I love him. Prayers for all the children and staff, prayers for the injured,” she wrote.
Police said on the scanner that one parent had called them to report that her daughter was hiding in a closet and wouldn’t come out until police retrieved her. That was just one of the frightening accounts to emerge.
Another woman wrote on Facebook: “This is my high school. I feel devastated. MCHS is a beautiful, rural community that puts all of its focus and love onto the county high school and no matter how far from home I wander, I will always and forever be a Marshall County Marshal. My heart goes out to my western Kentucky family. We stand with you.”
This post will be updated as more information is learned about the victims.