By David E. Hubler
Contributor, EDM Digest
Two 15-year-old Benton, Kentucky, high school students were killed and 18 others were wounded Tuesday when another 15-year-old burst into Marshall County High School and opened fire with a handgun.
Bailey Nicole Holt died at the scene. Preston Ryan Cope died of his injuries at a nearby hospital.
All but two of the injured students were released from Vanderbilt Medical Center by Thursday. The two victims who remain in the hospital are listed in stable condition, according to WKYT TV in Lexington.
Police arrested the alleged shooter, but have not released his name. On Wednesday, he was charged with two counts of murder and 12 counts of first-degree assault, Marshall County Assistant Attorney Jason Darnall told CNN.
Governor: ‘Some in This Community Will Never Fully Heal’
“This is a wound that is going to take a long time to heal,” Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin told The New York Times, “and for some in this community, [they] will never fully heal.”
Last year, Kentucky state legislators “considered, but did not pass, a bill that would have allowed people with concealed-carry permits to bring weapons on to public school campuses, where proponents argue they could be used to respond to active shooters,” the newspaper reported.
Texas High School Student Also Shot
The attack was the 11th school shooting in the U.S. in 2018 “and roughly the 50th of the academic year,” the Times said. Since 2013, researchers and gun control advocates have logged school shootings at a rate of about one a week.
On Monday, a 15-year-old girl in Italy, Texas, was shot in the cafeteria of Italy High School by a classmate, according to WFAA in Dallas. The suspect, a 16-year-old boy, was taken into custody by the Ellis County Sheriff’s Department.
Authorities said Tuesday that the girl was recovering.
"Our staff acted as trained and addressed the situation the best way they could," School Superintendent Lee Joffre said.
School Shootings on the Rise
“We have absolutely become numb to these kinds of shootings, and I think that will continue,” Katherine W. Schweit told the Times. She is a former senior F.B.I. official and the co-author of a study of 160 active shooting incidents in the United States between 2000 and 2013.
The study found that nearly one-quarter of the shooting incidents occurred in educational environments, and they were on the rise.
“Any time there’s a school shooting, it’s more gut-wrenching, and I think we have a tendency to react in a more visceral way,” Schweit told the Times on Tuesday. “But I really don’t think as a whole, in society, we’re taking shootings more seriously than we were before — and that’s wrong.”