BENTON,KY — Local churches put out calls for prayer tonight after a shooting at Marshall County High School here left two dead and 19 injured.
Shortly before 8 a.m. this morning, said reports, the 15-year-old suspect entered the school and began shooting. Local police responded within minutes, however one 15-year-old female would die at the scene. The second victim, a 15-year-old male, died later at a trauma center.
Police arrived on the scene at 8:06 a.m., less than ten minutes after the shooting began. According to media acounts authorities apprehended the suspect quickly and without resistance.
Soon thereafter, local churches began urging members and those in the community to gather together for prayer.
“Time of prayer and talking it out for all youth at Sharpe Baptist, 7:00 PM tonight in the youth room,” stated Sharpe Missionary Baptist Church. The message, posted on the church’s Facebook page, encouraged youth chaperones, teachers, and leaders to also attend.
Southern Baptist congregations such as Briensburg Baptist and New Harmomony Missionary Baptist joined others in giving notice of prayer meetings tonight.
‘I blacked out’
Media reports describe a scene of bedlam once shooting started in the school atrium. “They was runing and crying and screaming,” local businessman Mitchell Garland, who sheltered 50-100 students, said. “They was just kids running down the highway. They were trying to get out of there.”
“I blacked out. I couldn’t move,” 16-year-old Lexie Waymon said on hearing gunshots. “I tried to run, but I fell. I heard someone hit the ground. it was so close to me.”
Second school shooting this week
The Kentucky shooting comes one day after a Texas teenager opened fire in a school cafeteria. The 16-year-old suspect used a semi-automatic .380 handgun to fire several shots, striking a 15-year-old girl. The suspect has been charged with two counts of agravated assault iwth a deadly weapon while the victim recovers in a Dallas hospital.
A classmate of the boy has since told The Associated Press she had complained to school officials at least twice about the student. The first complaint occured in eighth grade when her name was on a “hit” list by the boy. The second happened after she said he threw a pair of scissors at her during class.
Marshall County High sits around 30 minutes from Paducah, KY’s Heath High School. In 1997, a student targeted classmates in a prayer group at Heath, killing three and wounding five more.