Multiple casualties in Kentucky high school shooting

Yahoo News Photo Staff

Stunned by a deadly school shooting, a grief-stricken Kentucky community is struggling to answer an agonizing question: How could one of its own have unleashed such terror?

Police have not publicly identified the 15-year-old accused of opening fire Tuesday at Marshall County High School. With few details coming from authorities, people are left to wonder what triggered the attack that killed two teenagers, injured 18 and sent hundreds fleeing from a place many considered immune from violence.

“I do know that no one with compassion and love and of a clear head could walk in and just hurt so many people randomly,” said Ashley Graham, whose daughter was a close friend of one of the children killed. “There’s no way.”

Police officers said the gunman walked into the commons area where many students gather before classes and started shooting. Witnesses said he fired a single shot, paused, and then emptied the handgun of ammunition before he tried to escape and was arrested.

On Wednesday, authorities said the suspect faces preliminary charges of murder and assault while police investigate what might have prompted the mass shooting. (AP)

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<p>Lauren Bengtzen, of Gilbertsville, Ky., paints the Marshall County High School logo on a window at a Taco John’s restaurant in Benton, Ky., Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018. Bengtzen, who graduated from Marshall County High School last spring, said she came in early for her shift at the restaurant to paint the window after the fatal school shooting Tuesday. (Photo: Ryan Hermens/The Paducah Sun via AP) </p>
Multiple casualties in Kentucky high school shooting

Lauren Bengtzen, of Gilbertsville, Ky., paints the Marshall County High School logo on a window at a Taco John’s restaurant in Benton, Ky., Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018. Bengtzen, who graduated from Marshall County High School last spring, said she came in early for her shift at the restaurant to paint the window after the fatal school shooting Tuesday. (Photo: Ryan Hermens/The Paducah Sun via AP)

<p>Students embrace following a prayer vigil at Paducah Tilghman High School in Paducah, Ky., Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, in Paducah, Ky. The gathering was held for the victims of the Marshall County High School shooting on Tuesday. (Photo: Ryan Hermens/The Paducah Sun via AP) </p>
Multiple casualties in Kentucky high school shooting

Students embrace following a prayer vigil at Paducah Tilghman High School in Paducah, Ky., Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, in Paducah, Ky. The gathering was held for the victims of the Marshall County High School shooting on Tuesday. (Photo: Ryan Hermens/The Paducah Sun via AP)

<p>A flag in Draffenville, Ky., less than a mile from Marshall County High School where a 15-year-old student opened fire on fellow students, flies at half-staff at dawn on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018. (Photo: Ryan Hermens/The Paducah Sun via AP) </p>
Multiple casualties in Kentucky high school shooting

A flag in Draffenville, Ky., less than a mile from Marshall County High School where a 15-year-old student opened fire on fellow students, flies at half-staff at dawn on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018. (Photo: Ryan Hermens/The Paducah Sun via AP)

<p>Students and community members hold hands in prayer before classes at Paducah Tilghman High School in Paducah, Ky., Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. The gathering was held for the victims of the Marshall County High School shooting on Tuesday. (Photo: Ryan Hermens/The Paducah Sun via AP) </p>
Multiple casualties in Kentucky high school shooting

Students and community members hold hands in prayer before classes at Paducah Tilghman High School in Paducah, Ky., Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. The gathering was held for the victims of the Marshall County High School shooting on Tuesday. (Photo: Ryan Hermens/The Paducah Sun via AP)

<p>Students and community members hold hands in prayer before classes at Paducah Tilghman High School in Paducah, Ky., Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. The gathering was held for the victims of the Marshall County High School shooting on Tuesday. (Photo: Ryan Hermens/The Paducah Sun via AP) </p>
Multiple casualties in Kentucky high school shooting

Students and community members hold hands in prayer before classes at Paducah Tilghman High School in Paducah, Ky., Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. The gathering was held for the victims of the Marshall County High School shooting on Tuesday. (Photo: Ryan Hermens/The Paducah Sun via AP)

<p>A bouquet of flowers and balloon sit below a sign outside the Marshall County Board of Education in Benton, Ky., Wednesday, Jan 24, 2018. (Photo: Ryan Hermens/The Paducah Sun via AP) </p>
Multiple casualties in Kentucky high school shooting

A bouquet of flowers and balloon sit below a sign outside the Marshall County Board of Education in Benton, Ky., Wednesday, Jan 24, 2018. (Photo: Ryan Hermens/The Paducah Sun via AP)

<p>Tiffany Moreland and her daughter Emily Moreland attend a prayer vigil for students killed and injured after a 15-year-old boy opened fire with a handgun at Marshall County High School, at Life in Christ Church in Marion, Kentucky, Jan. 23, 2018. (Photo: Harrison McClary/Reuters) </p>
Multiple casualties in Kentucky high school shooting

Tiffany Moreland and her daughter Emily Moreland attend a prayer vigil for students killed and injured after a 15-year-old boy opened fire with a handgun at Marshall County High School, at Life in Christ Church in Marion, Kentucky, Jan. 23, 2018. (Photo: Harrison McClary/Reuters)

<p>Students attend a prayer vigil for students killed and injured after a 15-year-old boy opened fire with a handgun at Marshall County High School, at Life in Christ Church in Marion, Kentucky, Jan. 23, 2018. (Photo: Harrison McClary/Reuters) </p>
Multiple casualties in Kentucky high school shooting

Students attend a prayer vigil for students killed and injured after a 15-year-old boy opened fire with a handgun at Marshall County High School, at Life in Christ Church in Marion, Kentucky, Jan. 23, 2018. (Photo: Harrison McClary/Reuters)

<p>Authorities investigate the scene after a deadly shooting at Marshall County High School in Benton, Ky., Jan. 23, 2018. (Photo: Ryan Hermens/The Paducah Sun via AP) </p>
Multiple casualties in Kentucky high school shooting

Authorities investigate the scene after a deadly shooting at Marshall County High School in Benton, Ky., Jan. 23, 2018. (Photo: Ryan Hermens/The Paducah Sun via AP)

<p>A sign at Briensburg Baptist Church asks people to pray for the victims of the shootings at Marshall County High School, Jan. 23, 2018, near Benton, Ky. A prayer vigil was held at the church. (Photo: Stephen Lance Dennee/AP) </p>
Multiple casualties in Kentucky high school shooting

A sign at Briensburg Baptist Church asks people to pray for the victims of the shootings at Marshall County High School, Jan. 23, 2018, near Benton, Ky. A prayer vigil was held at the church. (Photo: Stephen Lance Dennee/AP)

<p>Marshall County High School students are escorted to retrieve their vehicles by emergency responders after a deadly shooting at the school in Benton, Ky., Jan. 23, 2018. (Photo: Ryan Hermens/The Paducah Sun via AP) </p>
Multiple casualties in Kentucky high school shooting

Marshall County High School students are escorted to retrieve their vehicles by emergency responders after a deadly shooting at the school in Benton, Ky., Jan. 23, 2018. (Photo: Ryan Hermens/The Paducah Sun via AP)

<p>People hold candles during a vigil at Impact Church in Benton, Ky., Jan. 23, 2018. The vigil was held for victims of the Marshall County High School shooting earlier in the day. (Photo: Ryan Hermens/The Paducah Sun via AP) </p>
Multiple casualties in Kentucky high school shooting

People hold candles during a vigil at Impact Church in Benton, Ky., Jan. 23, 2018. The vigil was held for victims of the Marshall County High School shooting earlier in the day. (Photo: Ryan Hermens/The Paducah Sun via AP)

<p>An Air-Evac Lifeteam helicopter departs Marshall County High School, Jan. 23, 2018, in Benton, Ky., after a fatal school shooting. (Photo: Ryan Hermens/The Paducah Sun via AP) </p>
Multiple casualties in Kentucky high school shooting

An Air-Evac Lifeteam helicopter departs Marshall County High School, Jan. 23, 2018, in Benton, Ky., after a fatal school shooting. (Photo: Ryan Hermens/The Paducah Sun via AP)

<p>A woman wipes tears from her eye during a prayer vigil at Briensburg Baptist Church near Benton, Ky., Jan. 23, 2018. Bailey Nicole Holt and Preston Ryan Cope, both 15, were killed and another 17 people injured when a classmate opened fire Tuesday morning in the Marshall County High School atrium, a common area at the school where several hallways meet and students gather before classes. (Photo: Stephen Lance Dennee/AP) </p>
Multiple casualties in Kentucky high school shooting

A woman wipes tears from her eye during a prayer vigil at Briensburg Baptist Church near Benton, Ky., Jan. 23, 2018. Bailey Nicole Holt and Preston Ryan Cope, both 15, were killed and another 17 people injured when a classmate opened fire Tuesday morning in the Marshall County High School atrium, a common area at the school where several hallways meet and students gather before classes. (Photo: Stephen Lance Dennee/AP)

<p>Patrick Adamson, youth director and praise leader at Briensburg Baptist Church, comforts two people prior to a prayer vigil at Briensburg Baptist Church near Benton, Ky., Jan. 23, 2018. Bailey Nicole Holt and Preston Ryan Cope, both 15, were killed and more than a dozen injured when a classmate opened fire Tuesday morning in the Marshall County High School atrium, a common area at the school where several hallways meet and students gather before classes. (Photo: Stephen Lance Dennee/AP) </p>
Multiple casualties in Kentucky high school shooting

Patrick Adamson, youth director and praise leader at Briensburg Baptist Church, comforts two people prior to a prayer vigil at Briensburg Baptist Church near Benton, Ky., Jan. 23, 2018. Bailey Nicole Holt and Preston Ryan Cope, both 15, were killed and more than a dozen injured when a classmate opened fire Tuesday morning in the Marshall County High School atrium, a common area at the school where several hallways meet and students gather before classes. (Photo: Stephen Lance Dennee/AP)

<p>Media outlets stage near an entrance to Marshall County High School after a deadly shooting at the school in Benton, Ky., Jan. 23, 2018. (Photo: Ryan Hermens/The Paducah Sun via AP) </p>
Multiple casualties in Kentucky high school shooting

Media outlets stage near an entrance to Marshall County High School after a deadly shooting at the school in Benton, Ky., Jan. 23, 2018. (Photo: Ryan Hermens/The Paducah Sun via AP)

<p>Stan Collins of Benton, second from left, holds a candle during a vigil at Impact Church in Benton, Ky., Jan. 23, 2018. The vigil was held for victims of the Marshall County High School shooting earlier in the day. (Photo: Ryan Hermens/The Paducah Sun via AP) </p>
Multiple casualties in Kentucky high school shooting

Stan Collins of Benton, second from left, holds a candle during a vigil at Impact Church in Benton, Ky., Jan. 23, 2018. The vigil was held for victims of the Marshall County High School shooting earlier in the day. (Photo: Ryan Hermens/The Paducah Sun via AP)

<p>Emergency crews respond to Marshall County High School after a fatal school shooting on Jan. 23, 2018, in Benton, Ky. (Photo: Ryan Hermens/The Paducah Sun via AP) </p>
Multiple casualties in Kentucky high school shooting

Emergency crews respond to Marshall County High School after a fatal school shooting on Jan. 23, 2018, in Benton, Ky. (Photo: Ryan Hermens/The Paducah Sun via AP)

<p>Gov. Matt Bevin speaks during a media briefing at the Marshall County Board of Education following a shooting at Marshall County High School in Benton, Ky., Jan. 23, 2018. (Photo: Ryan Hermens/The Paducah Sun via AP) </p>
Multiple casualties in Kentucky high school shooting

Gov. Matt Bevin speaks during a media briefing at the Marshall County Board of Education following a shooting at Marshall County High School in Benton, Ky., Jan. 23, 2018. (Photo: Ryan Hermens/The Paducah Sun via AP)

<p>Authorities investigate the scene of school shooting, Jan 23, 2018, in Benton, Ky. (Photo: Stephen Lance Dennee/AP) </p>
Multiple casualties in Kentucky high school shooting

Authorities investigate the scene of school shooting, Jan 23, 2018, in Benton, Ky. (Photo: Stephen Lance Dennee/AP)

<p>Family members escort their children out of Marshal North Middle School near Palma, Ky., Jan. 23, 2018, after the students where transported from Marshal High School. (Photo: Stephen Lance Dennee/AP) </p>
Multiple casualties in Kentucky high school shooting

Family members escort their children out of Marshal North Middle School near Palma, Ky., Jan. 23, 2018, after the students where transported from Marshal High School. (Photo: Stephen Lance Dennee/AP)

<p>Police escort a person, second from right, out of the Marshall County High School after shooting there, Jan 23, 2018, in Benton, Ky. (Dominico Caporali via AP) </p>
Multiple casualties in Kentucky high school shooting

Police escort a person, second from right, out of the Marshall County High School after shooting there, Jan 23, 2018, in Benton, Ky. (Dominico Caporali via AP)

<p>Authorities investigate the scene of fatal school shooting on Jan 23, 2018, in Benton, Ky. Kentucky State Police said the suspect was apprehended by a Marshall County deputy. (Photo: Stephen Lance Dennee) </p>
Multiple casualties in Kentucky high school shooting

Authorities investigate the scene of fatal school shooting on Jan 23, 2018, in Benton, Ky. Kentucky State Police said the suspect was apprehended by a Marshall County deputy. (Photo: Stephen Lance Dennee)

<p>Emergency crews respond to Marshall County High School after a fatal school shooting on Jan. 23, 2018, in Benton, Ky. (Photo: Ryan Hermens/The Paducah Sun via AP) </p>
Multiple casualties in Kentucky high school shooting

Emergency crews respond to Marshall County High School after a fatal school shooting on Jan. 23, 2018, in Benton, Ky. (Photo: Ryan Hermens/The Paducah Sun via AP)

<p>Emergency crews respond to Marshall County High School after a fatal school shooting on Jan. 23, 2018, in Benton, Ky. (Photo: Ryan Hermens/The Paducah Sun via AP) </p>
Multiple casualties in Kentucky high school shooting

Emergency crews respond to Marshall County High School after a fatal school shooting on Jan. 23, 2018, in Benton, Ky. (Photo: Ryan Hermens/The Paducah Sun via AP)

<p>Family members escort their children out of Marshal North Middle School near Palma, Ky., Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, after being transported from the Marshal High School. (Photo: Stephen Lance Dennee/AP) </p>
Multiple casualties in Kentucky high school shooting

Family members escort their children out of Marshal North Middle School near Palma, Ky., Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, after being transported from the Marshal High School. (Photo: Stephen Lance Dennee/AP)

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