Benton, Kentucky High School Shooting Is Fatal, Governor Confirms
According to reports, several people were shot during a shooting at a Kentucky high school on Tuesday morning. Authorities said a suspect has already been apprehended at Marshall County High School, where the shooting took place. Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin confirmed the news on Twitter, adding that there is still much "unknown" about the incident.
"Tragic shooting at Marshall County HS," Bevin wrote. "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..."
The site of this latest shooting, Marshall County High School, is in rural Kentucky, about 120 miles northwest of Nashville, Tennessee, according to Time. On social media, students and family members of students posted warnings about the shooting as it was happening.
At this time, the "situation is secure and is no longer active," Kentucky State Police Detective Jody Cash told CBS News. He confirmed that one suspect was in custody on the campus, but offered no details about them. It's also still unclear what the injuries were, if there were staff among the victims in addition to students, and what the ages of the victims are.
Rep. James Comer, representing Kentucky's 1st congressional district, tweeted following the shooting. "My thoughts & prayers go out to the students & faculty at Marshall County High School where there has been a tragic school shooting," he wrote.
According to a Marshall County Schools staffer, the high school's superintendent is expected to release a statement shortly.
Marshall High School is reportedly on lockdown as authorities continue to investigate, according to The Marshall County Tribune-Courier. Within an hour of the shooting, students were bused to nearby North Marshall Middle school, where parents could pick them up.
Two helicopters touched down at the school to transport the injured, the Tribune-Courier reported.
"Parents are being asked not to try and pick up students from Marshall County High School," according to the newspaper. "We have been told there have been arguments between law enforcement and parents trying to get inside. The school remains on lockdown and no one is being allowed inside either entrance. Two Air Evac helicopters have landed in the past few minutes."
Some of the victims are being treated at Vanderbilt Pediatrics Hospital in Nashville, according to FOX17 Nashville. A spokesperson for the nearby Benton Elementary School told the local news outlet that all students and staff are safe.
This shooting comes just one day after a shooting at a high school in Texas. A teenage girl was wounded at Italy High School on Monday after a 16-year-old suspect, who is now in custody, opened fire with a semi-automatic handgun. There have been at least seven school shootings in 2018 so far, this latest shooting will be the 8th.
Kentucky State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Louisville office are working together to investigate this latest incident. "FBI Louisville is aware of a school shooting at Marshall County High School with multiple victims," the agency tweeted. "We are currently working with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tweeted that he was "closely tracking reports of the tragedy in Benton, #Kentucky at Marshall County High School," adding that his "thoughts are with the students, teachers, faculty, and the entire community."
It's worth noting that following the Las Vegas massacre in 2017, where 58 people were gunned down outside the Mandalay Bay Hotel, McConnell dismissed talks of gun control. "The investigation has not even been completed," he said at the time. "I think it's premature to be discussing legislative solutions, if there are any."
There are plenty of legislative solutions to curb gun violence, that don't scrap Second Amendment rights. Hopefully following these two back-to-back school shootings, the GOP will start seriously considering what they can do to prevent tragedies like this in the future.