Governor: Two students have died as a result of shooting at Marshall County

Police Line/Crime stories

Herald Staff

Update 6:55 p.m. Kentucky State Police have given the names of the deceased students in a news conference. 15-year-old Bailey Nicole Holt died at the scene, and 15-year-old Preston Ryan Cope died at the hospital.

Six students were transported to Vanderbilt hospital, including Cope. The remaining five are in critical condition. There were 19 injuries overall, 14 of those being from gunshot wounds.

KPD’s Critical Response Team is responsible for the investigation. They are being assisted by evidence technicians from the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. FBI victim specialists are also speaking with those who witnesses the shooting.

There is a Family Resource Center at the Kentucky Agricultural Extension office. It is for anyone needs related inquiries to those affected by the shooting. There will be a counseling center at the old Pepsi bottling plant, which will serve for grief counselling. 

KSP Commissioner Rick Sanders confirmed it was a 15-year-old male student who opened fire on the school. No more information is being given about the scene.

There will likely not be another press conference tomorrow, according to Sanders. The most recent one can be viewed here

Update 12:30 p.m. At a press conference, Governor Matt Bevin said there are 19 individuals being treated as a result of the shooting and at least two students have died. 

Both students were 15-years-old, one male and one female. The female student died at the scene and the male student died at the hospital. 

Of the 19 individuals affected, 14 are being treated for gunshot wounds and five are being treated for non-gunshot wounds. 

Bevin said it was a 15-year-old male student who is suspected of being the shooter. He is in custody and was apprehended at the scene. 

The student will be charged with murder and attempted murder. 

“It is heartbreaking and I will say this…I beg of you, again, respect the fact that these children belong to this community, to specific families in this community and this is a wound that is going to take a long time to heal, and for some in this community, will never fully heal, Bevin said. “That is going to take a process of time and respect.”

Lieutenant Michael B. Webb, who leads public affairs for the state police, said this was an “awful tragedy that descended upon western Kentucky and the Commonwealth.”

Webb also said there was a unified front between state, local and federal police. He said this is an ongoing criminal investigation. 

According to KSP commissioner Rick Sanders, the incident began at 7:57 a.m., first 911 call at 7:59 a.m. and responders arrived at 8:06 a.m. 

“Everybody in that high school reacted appropriately,” he said. 

Update 12:15 p.m. Senator Mitch McConnell made a statement on the Senate floor earlier about the shooting in Marshall County. 

“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,” he said.

Update 11:55 a.m. The Courier-Journal is reporting that one gunman was involved in the shooting. 

Marshall County Attorney Jeffery Edwards said the shooter was a male high school student and it does not appear that anyone was targeted, according to the Courier. 

At least nine people were injured just before 8 a.m. CST after a gunman opened fire in the common area of the high school, Brian Roy, the former Sheriff of Marshall County, who has spoken with people at the scene of the shooting, said. 

Original story: Kentucky State Police confirmed a school shooting at Marshall County High School in Benton, Kentucky earlier this morning with multiple victims, one of which has been pronounced dead.

The police report a suspect has been taken into custody. 

Kentucky State Police Detective Jody Cash said during a phone interview on CBSN that the “situation is secure and is no longer active.”

Governor Matt Bevin released a statement on Twitter saying “this is a tremendous tragedy and speaks to the heartbreak present in our communities.”

{{tncms-inline account=”Governor Matt Bevin” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">A statement from Gov. Bevin regarding this morning's events in Marshall County: <a href=""></a></p>— Governor Matt Bevin (@GovMattBevin) <a href="">January 23, 2018</a></blockquote>” id=”″ type=”twitter”}}

Cash confirmed with CBS that one suspect is in custody at the campus, which is staffed by a school resource officer, but could not give details about that suspect.

Seven people were taken to hospitals, some by helicopter, Darlene Lynn of Marshall County Emergency Management told CNN.

The Marshall County Tribune-Courier reported that students at Marshall County High School are being bused to North Marshall Middle School.

{{tncms-inline account=”WKU Admissions” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The WKU Office of Admissions extends our thoughts and sympathy to all those affected by the tragic event at Marshall County High School. <a href=""></a></p>— WKU Admissions (@WKUAdmissions) <a href="">January 23, 2018</a></blockquote>” id=”″ type=”twitter”}}

{{tncms-inline account=”The Gatton Academy” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Our thoughts and prayers are with Marshall County High School and the Marshall County community following this morning's tragedy.<a href=""></a></p>— The Gatton Academy (@GattonAcademy) <a href="">January 23, 2018</a></blockquote>” id=”″ type=”twitter”}}

{{tncms-inline account=”Honors College WKU” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">We are deeply saddened by the tragic shooting at Marshall County High School today. Our thoughts are with the students, families, staff and all those affected.</p>— Honors College WKU (@WKUHonors) <a href="">January 23, 2018</a></blockquote>” id=”″ type=”twitter”}}

{{tncms-inline account=”Ryan Shutt” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Thinking of my friends at Marshall County High School today. We are here for you ❤️</p>— Ryan Shutt (@RyanOnTheHill) <a href="">January 23, 2018</a></blockquote>” id=”″ type=”twitter”}}

{{tncms-inline account=”Coach Mike Sanford” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Marshall County…our prayers and our love are 100% with you.</p>— Coach Mike Sanford (@CoachSanfordWKU) <a href="">January 23, 2018</a></blockquote>” id=”″ type=”twitter”}}

The Herald will update this story as more information becomes available.