BENTON, Ky. — A 15-year-old boy opened fire with a handgun inside his high school in rural western Kentucky on Tuesday, killing two fellow students and wounding a dozen other youths before he was arrested, the state’s governor and police said.
The shooting began shortly before 8 a.m. CST at Marshall County High School in Benton, a small farming town about 130 miles (210 km) northwest of Nashville, Tennessee, according to Kentucky State Police and Governor Matt Bevin.
Authorities declined to discuss possible motives for the shooting. There was no immediate indication of how well the suspect knew the victims, but officials said he was believed to have acted alone and faces multiple charges of murder and attempted murder.
“There’s no good answer for it,” Bevin told reporters at a news conference. “There’s 1,000 hypotheses we’re not going to go into.”
The bloodshed at the school, where nearly 1,150 students are enrolled, was the latest outbreak of gun violence that has become a regular occurrence at schools and college campuses across the United States over the past several years.
Tuesday’s rampage occurred just 32 miles (52 km) from Heath High School in West Paducah, Kentucky, where in 1997 a 14-year-old boy opened fire on a group of students, killing three.
At Marshall County High, 14 students were hit by gunfire, two of them fatally, officials said. A 15-year-old girl was pronounced dead at the scene, and a 15-year-old boy died at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s trauma unit in Nashville, Bevin and hospital officials said.