Editor’s Note: This CNN article first published on Jan. 24, 2018, the day after the shooting happened.
A wounded special needs student was rescued by student and teacher, mom says
Student faces two charges of murder, 12 counts of first degree assault
Another high school has turned into a scene of carnage, this time in western Kentucky.
Sixteen people were wounded, two of them fatally, after a shooter opened fire Tuesday morning at Marshall County High School, authorities said. Four others sustained various injuries.
A 15-year-old male student was arrested at the scene, Gov. Matt Bevin said. On Wednesday he was charged with two counts of murder and 12 counts of first degree assault, Marshall County Assistant Attorney Jason Darnall told reporters.
After the boy has a probable cause hearing and a detention hearing in the next two days, prosecutors will start the process of charging him as an adult, Darnall said.
A grand jury will meet on February 13, and the charges could change, Darnall said.
Authorities identified the slain victims as Bailey Holt and Preston Cope, both 15. Bailey died at the high school, and Preston died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, according to Kentucky State Police Commissioner Richard W. Sanders.
Sanders said the suspect, armed with a handgun, walked into the school at 8:57 a.m. ET and started shooting. The first 911 call came two minutes later.
The victims ranged from 14 to 18, state police said. Fourteen were male and six female.
‘Mom, there’s been a shooting’
Some parents said their children told them the shooting started in the commons area before class, CNN affiliate WSMV reported.
Missy Hufford said her son, Ethan, 15, ran into the gymnasium and out of the building through a side door. Then he called and asked her to pick him up, she said.
“I know when he called me, he said, ‘Mom, there’s been a shooting.’ And I asked him if he was OK, and he said, ‘I’m running,’ ” WSMV reported.
Misty Green said her daughter, Morgan, was in the commons area and “heard the ‘pop, pop, pop’ and initially got down, and then just realized what was going on, so they took out running out of the building as fast as they could.”
“And teachers were grabbing kids up and helping them get into safe places. And helping them get outside and get to a safe location,” Green told WSMV.
Junior Taylor Droke told CNN affiliate WZTV that she and a friend were running late and arrived as students poured out of the school.
“You could see students dropping their bags and just start running, pushing past each other,” she said. “Everyone in cars started turning around and driving away. Kids were jumping the fence around the school and running through the woods.”
Droke said she contacted her mother on FaceTime. Then she and her friend gave a ride to some students and loaned them phones to call their parents.
“Everyone just left their bags and ran, so people had no cell phones,” Droke said.
Shot in the arm
Daniel Austin, a 17-year-old special needs student, was hospitalized. His parents kept calling his cell phone until someone in the emergency room picked up and said Daniel had been shot.
His mother, Andrea, rushed to the hospital, bewildered as to why this happened.
“Teachers love him. Students love him. I don’t think (anyone) can say one bad thing about him,” Andrea Austin said. “And that’s not because I’m his mom. Everybody loves him.”
Austin said her son was shot in the right arm, which might need to be amputated. She lauded the heroics of a fellow student and a teacher, who quickly scooped up Daniel after the gunfire stopped, rushed him to a car and drove him to a hospital.
Trooper thought deceased victim was his daughter
Sanders, the state police commissioner, said authorities are praying for the victims. The carnage was especially hard on first responders.
One of the first state troopers to arrive at the high school thought Bailey, the student who died at the school, was his daughter, Sanders said. The trooper’s daughter had been dropped off at the school that morning, and she and the victim were wearing similar clothing, Sanders said.
“He had to go over to convince himself that that was not his daughter,” Sanders said.
State police said six victims, including Preston, were taken to Vanderbil