Benton, Kentucky, is home to just 4,300 people, a size so small that nearly everybody has some kind of connection to Marshall County High School, notes the AP. The point was illustrated when one of the first deputies to arrive on the scene of Tuesday's school shooting came across the teenage girl who was killed and feared it was his daughter, who had just been dropped off. It wasn't, but "he had to go over to convince himself it was not his daughter," says Kentucky State Police Chief Rick Sanders, per the Lexington Herald-Leader. Other developments:
- 2 names: The two slain students have been identified as Bailey Nicole Holt and Preston Ryan Cope, both 15.
- Injured: Three of the other 14 gunshot victims remain in critical condition, reports NBC News. All the victims range in age from 14 to 18. Four other students were injured, though they were not shot.
- Suspect: The 15-year-old male suspect, who has not been identified, is being held in a juvenile jail. Witness Alexandria Caporali says he was a "quiet boy who played music and always seemed happy," in the words of the AP. Police say he had walked to school, then entered and opened fire with a handgun before the start of classes.
- Shooting: "It was one right after another—bang, bang, bang, bang, bang," recalls Caporali. "You could see his arm jerking as he was pulling the trigger." She added that "he was determined," though he did seem to hesitate after the first shot.
- Another witness: Lexie Waymon, 16, says she froze after seeing a "body drop." Then she started running, with the phrase "I can't believe this is happening" voicing itself over and over again in her mind. She didn't stop running until she reached McDonald's; it sits more than a mile from the school.
- No. 11: This is the 11th school shooting of the young year, reports the New York Times.
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