A least two students were killed and 14 others shot after a gunman opened fire Tuesday morning at a Kentucky high school. Four others were wounded in the incident.

Armed with a handgun, a 15-year-old student entered Marshall County High School at 7:57 a.m. and began firing, officials said in a news conference.

A 15-year-old girl, identified by police as Bailey Nicole Holt, died at the scene. Another student, Preston Ryan Cope, also 15, died at a hospital. Five people remained in critical condition on Tuesday night, authorities said.

The rampage took place in Benton, a town of 4,000 in the southwest corner of the state.

“This is something that has struck in the heart of Kentucky — it’s not far away, it’s here — and it hits home,” said Michael Webb, a spokesperson for the Kentucky State Police. “I have a 15-year-old daughter. I think about that. We have two 15-year-old high school students that have been killed just showing up to go to school. It doesn’t get any worse than that.”

Authorities have not released the shooter’s name or motive. (Follow The Trace on Twitter for more details as they become available.)


The Kentucky shooting was the young school week’s third incident of gunfire at an American K-12 school.

Early yesterday morning, a 16-year-old boy wielding a .380-caliber handgun shot and injured a female student in a high school cafeteria in the Texas town of Italy. A 17-year-old student who was pulling up to the school at the time said she saw “the doors fly open and everyone screaming and running out of the building.”

The victim was transported an hour north to Parkview Medical Center in Dallas. The suspect is in custody.

On Monday afternoon, someone opened fire from a pickup truck outside a New Orleans charter school. A 14-year-old boy who was among a group of students in the school parking lot at the time suffered an abrasion wound.

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