BENTON, Ky. – Two people dead after a shooting at Marshall County High School in Benton, Ky.
Gov. Matt Bevin confirmed that at least 2 people were killed and 17 others were injured. Of the 19 injured, 14 of the injuries were gunshot wounds, Bevin said.
The shooter, a 15-year-old student, is in custody, Kentucky State Police confirmed. He will face murder charges, Bevin said.
Nearly 100 children ran out of Marshall County High School seeking safety, said Mitchell Garland, who rushed outside of his business when he heard about the shooting.
"They was running and crying and screaming," he said. "They was just kids running down the highway. They were trying to get out of there."
Garland said he made sure the students were safe. He said his own son, a 16-year-old sophomore, jumped into someone's car and sped away, then made his way to his dad's office.
"Everyone is just scared. Just terrified for their kids," Garland said. "We're a small town and we know a lot of the kids."
Two of the victims were taken to Nashville, Tennessee's Vanderbilt University Medical Center, spokeswoman Tavia Smith said, about 120 miles (193 kilometers) away.
Savana Smothers, the school's assistant girls' soccer coach, scrambled to account for all of her players. All the girls were safe, she told The Associated Press in a Facebook message. She also said she was trying to get a head count for all the students who attend her church.
"You just never think this will happen in a small town like ours," she wrote.
Federal authorities joined state and local law enforcement in responding to the shooting. Gov. Matt Bevin ran out a side door at the Capitol in Frankfort, saying he was headed to the school as well.
"It is unbelievable that this would happen in a small, close-knit community like Marshall County. As there is still much unknown, I encourage people to love each other," Bevin said in a statement.
Marshall County High School is only about 30 minutes from Heath High School in Paducah, Kentucky, where a 1997 mass shooting killed three and injured five. Michael Carneal, then 14, opened fire about two years before the fatal attack at Columbine High School in Colorado, ushering in an area when mass school shootings have become much more common.
Meanwhile, in the small North Texas town of Italy, a 15-year-old girl was recovering Tuesday after police said she was shot by a 16-year-old classmate in her high school cafeteria on Monday, sending dozens of students scrambling for safety.
The scene of Tuesday's shooting was chaotic, with parents and students rushing around trying to find each other, said Dusty Kornbacher, who owns a nearby floral shop.
"All the parking lots were full with parents and kids hugging each other and crying and nobody really knowing what was going on," he said.
Barry Mann said his 14-year-old son was OK, but he had not seen him yet. He said his son was put on a bus and taken to another school for him to pick up.
Tragic shooting at Marshall County HS...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...— Governor Matt Bevin (@GovMattBevin) January 23, 2018