Kentucky high school shooting leaves students, parents shaken

Last Updated Jan 24, 2018 3:27 AM EST

BENTON, Ky. -- Police say a young gunman who methodically fired inside a crowded school atrium in Kentucky killed two students and wounded 14 others. Four more students were injured. A student at the school is being charged with murder and attempted murder. It happened in Benton, about 30 miles west of Paducah, where one of the first school shootings 20 years ago left three dead. 

Police say it was just before 8 a.m. when the 15-year-old student armed with a handgun walked into Marshall County High School and started shooting randomly.

"Everybody started running and stuff. I saw people getting shoved down. There was a lot of blood everywhere. It was horrible," a student said.

"Everyone that was in the library, once they saw what was happening, we all started running towards the library office and once we got in there, we just shut the lights off, sat down, locked the doors," another student said. 

Parents rushed to the school immediately. It took less than 10 minutes for federal and local law enforcement to respond and the building was put on lock down. Shaken students were bused to an area middle school to reunite with their loved ones.  

Marshall County deputies arrested the gunman, who remains unidentified. "He was apprehended by the sheriff's deputy here on site at the school, thankfully before any more lives could be taken," said Lt. Michael Webb of the Kentucky State Police Department.

Police later identified the two 15-year-old victims as Bailey Nicole Holt, who died at the scene, and Preston Ryan Cope, who died at an area hospital.


15-year-old Bailey Holt

CBS News

"These children belong to this community, and 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," Gov. Matt Bevin said Tuesday.

The county attorney will ask for the teen suspect to be tried as an adult. Of the 14 people shot, two are battling gunshot wounds to the head.