A shooting at Marshall County High School in Western Kentucky has killed one victim and wounded multiple others, according to Kentucky State Police.
At least seven victims were taken to hospitals.
The shooting was reported in the high school commons, according to a Broadcastify recording of law enforcement scanner traffic from initial calls. Police have not confirmed details in the recording.
“Five shots fired. Four down at the high school at Marshall...one unresponsive,” the dispatcher said.
There were also reports of students down in the school’s tech center, according to the dispatcher. Police found the weapon, a pistol, in the back side of the high school, a sheriff deputy told dispatch.
A business owner, Mitchell Garland, said he saw nearly 100 students running out of the high school seeking safety. He said the students were running, crying and screaming, according to the Associated Press.
The Kentucky Department of Education initially said it was a student who died. They later said it was a “person” who died.
A Marshall County deputy apprehended the alleged shooter, state police said about 10:26 a.m., roughly 15 minutes after saying the scene was secure.
Not long after the shooting, condolences, praise for law enforcement and calls for prayer poured forth from lawmakers in the state and in Washington, D.C.
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin announced there was a shooting before others confirmed it and urged caution. He later encouraged people to show love.
“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.”
Bevin released a statement at 10:59 a.m., saying that “this is a tremendous tragedy and speaks to the heartbreak present in our communities.”
“It is unbelievable that this would happen in a small, close-knit community like Marshall County,” he added. “As there is still much unknown, I encourage people to love on each other at this time. Do not speculate, but come alongside each other in support and allow the facts to come out.”
Bevin is on his way to Marshall County, where there will be a press briefing at 1 p.m., KSP said.
The FBI is working with federal, state and local law enforcement partners following the shooting, it said on Twitter. At 10:30 a.m., it said their agents and personnel were at the high school assisting.
Soon after the shooting, there was a heavy police presence and ambulances at the high school, located in Benton, according to WPSD.
Four patients were transported to Nashville to be treated at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, according to The Tennessean.
The school was locked down and no one was allowed inside either entrance, according to the Marshall County Tribune-Courier. Students from the high school were being bused to nearby North Marshall Middle School, where parents were being allowed to pick up their kids, the Tribune-Courier said.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he is closely tracking the reports of the “tragedy in Benton, #Kentucky and Marshall County High School.”
“My thoughts are with the students, teachers, faculty, and the entire community,” he said on Twitter. “Thank you to the first responders who continue to put themselves in harm’s way to protect others.”
Kentucky Sen. Danny Carroll is from Marshall County and said in a statement that he was heartbroken to hear of the incident.
“This is a sad time for our close-knit community in Marshall County and my thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by this senseless tragedy,” he said. “Many thanks to our first responders who contained the situation and prevented it from escalating further. I remain in communication with the Governor’s office and Kentucky State Police as resources are provided to our community.”
The area’s congressman, James Comer, said his Senior Field Representative, Martie Wiles, has been with local officials in Marshall County and is keeping Comer updated.
“This morning’s senseless and evil act in Marshall County is news that horrifies us all,” Comer said in a statement. “My thoughts & prayers are with the students and faculty at Marshall County High School where there has been a tragic school shooting. I stand with the school, first responders and the entire Marshall County community, we are all united with you today.
In Frankfort at the General Assembly Tuesday, House Education Chairman John Carney, R- Taylorsville, shared news of the shooting at that committee's morning meeting.
"There has been an active shooter incident this morning at Marshall County High School The details are kind of fluid so I'm not going to get into those too much. I would like to ask everyone to remember the folks there in Marshall County in your prayers.
The committee had just approved House Bill 143, which would require the Kentucky Department of Education to establish a school safety and crisis line where people could report unsafe violent or criminal activities. The bill now goes to the full House.
Rep. Steven Rudy, R- Paducah, began the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee that he chairs with a prayer for the victims.
The shooting at Marshall County is the latest in Kentucky schools. It comes just 20 years after a similar Western Kentucky shooting when Michael Carneal fired 11 shots into a group of students in the lobby of Paducah's Heath High School. Three students were killed and five were wounded. Some suffered devastating injuries. Heath High School was consolidated into other schools a few years ago and the building was converted for middle school classes.
Identities of the person killed Tuesday and those injured have not been confirmed.
This story will be updated.
Valarie Honeycutt Spears contributed to this report.