Love, support and shock pour out following Marshall County High School deadly shooting

Rival Schools show support for marshall co. High School
East Prairie High School flags at half-staff. (Source: Kyle Jackson/cNews)
East Prairie High School flags at half-staff. (Source: Kyle Jackson/cNews)
Calloway County vs. Murray Game on Tuesday night. (Source: Calloway County School District)
Calloway County vs. Murray Game on Tuesday night. (Source: Calloway County School District)
Vigil held at Paducah Tilghman High School (Source: Marc Thomas)
Vigil held at Paducah Tilghman High School (Source: Marc Thomas)
(Source: Graves County Middle School)
(Source: Graves County Middle School)

BENTON, KY (KFVS) - Several lawmakers and community officials have expressed their reactions following the deadly shooting at Marshall County High School.

A total of two students were killed and several others were injured when a 15-year-old male student open fired inside the building on Tuesday, Jan. 23.

CLICK HERE for full coverage of the Heartland School Shooting.

Since the shooting, students have expressed their shock, and community leaders have shared their love and support on social media.

Here's a closer look at the reactions to the Marshall County High School shooting.

Community response

An inter-squad basketball game will be held on Monday, January 29 to raise money for the families of the Marshall County school shooting.

Graves County Middle School faculty and staff gathered to show their support for their friends and neighbors in Marshall County. Principal Jonathan Miller responded to them: “Thank you for continuing to show your love, prayers, and support for our friends and neighbors at Marshall County!”

A car wash and bale sale will be held on Friday, Jan. 26 for the families in Marshall County at the Paducah Area Technology Center. Students from Paducah Tilghman High School, McCracken County, St. Mary, Graves County and Livingston Central will be participating. This is from 8:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.

Flags have been ordered to remain at half-staff in Calloway County in honor of Marshall County after an executive order from Calloway County Judge Executive Larry Elkins.

Action Sports in Paducah is selling shirts as a way to raise money for the affected families. The store said on Facebook that 100 percent of the proceeds will go to the families.

Paducah Tilghman High School held a vigil before school Wednesday in honor of the victims.

Millstone Counseling is opening its doors to those affected by the tragedy and those who were students at Heath High School in 1997 during a school shooting there. People are invited to attend at 7 p.m.

The Murray vs. Calloway County basketball game on Tuesday, January 23, was themed with Marshall County High School's school colors. Murray was dressed in blue and Calloway County in orange as they united in this time of tragedy.

The Kentucky Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau will have Marshall County Strong #PRAYFORMARSHALL silicon wristbands for sale starting Friday around noon. They will be donating a wristband to every student, teacher and staff member at MCHS, and the remainder will be $1 each. All money raised will go to the families and victims. For more information, call their office at 270-527-3128 or stop by 93 Carroll Rd.

McCracken County Sheriff's Office deputies will be at all county schools tomorrow to help with the school's resource officers.

Before Paducah's City Commission Meeting on Tuesday, Mayor Brandi Harless held a moment of silence at the beginning of the meeting in recognition of the tragedy. "This is our region, and they (Marshall County families are a big part of our community as well," said Harless.

Several churches and schools will hold prayer vigils and services to pray for the victims to cope with the tragedy. CLICK HERE for a list.

Students remember the victims

Talking to community members and friends of the two victims that died, everyone seems to say the same thing, they can't believe they're gone.

Bailey Holt and Preston Cope are both being remembered as the nicest people who never had anything bad to say about anyone.

Bailey's mom described her daughter as a perfect soul.

We talked to Jacob Landis on Wednesday. He's a junior at Marshall County High School who said school won't be the same without Preston.

"He's an incredible kid," Landis said. "I mean, every time you saw him he was smiling, walking down the hallway. He never had anything negative to say. I played baseball with him for about three or four years. Just an incredible kid. And the locker room is going to be different but we are coming together. We're coming together, we'll be ok."

On Tuesday, we talked to Braden Holland, who was inside the building when the first shot rang out.

The junior at Marshall County High School said it started out as a normal day.

He arrived at school and walked in to catch up with his friends.

Not long after he heard a pop.

At first, he thought it might've been someone dropping their books, but when he heard the echo he knew it was a gunshot.

He said he heard three more shots as he began running for safety.

Obviously, he's still trying to wrap his mind around all of this.

"I'm just really shaken up, I did not expect that at all, weird because I was just thinking about, I was thinking we're a really fortunate county to not have shootings regularly like that, and then today it happens, it's just weird," Holland said.

When asked what he’d like to tell the community as we move forward, Holland said, “Just pray.”

Lawmaker response

McConnell also commented on the tragedy on the Senate floor.

"First, this morning began with reports of a tragedy at Marshall County High School in Benton, Kentucky. State officials have reported at least one confirmed death and several injuries. My staff in western Kentucky is at the high school and is in close contact with local officials. They are monitoring the situation and will be providing me with updates throughout the day.

The Kentucky Education Association said leaders and staff were just learning the details.

KEA leaders and staff are just learning details of the unfolding tragedy in Marshall County. We know that this kind of senseless, preventable violence will have a profound and lasting impact on the entire community, as was the case in West Paducah and too many other communities where students, faculty and staff have been assaulted.

Superintendent Joshua W. Stafford of Vienna High School released a statement about the situation just to the south of Vienna, Illinois.

"We are aware that there has been an active shooter event at Marshall County School which is about 45 minutes south of us. As confirmed via our local law enforcement the shooter has been apprehended. We are in constant contact with local authorities and, as already is a frequent practice, we will have uniformed officers on campus and around the school. Everyone's vigilance in safety matters is key. If you hear or see something never hesitate to say something. Preventing and or responding to these situations require you and the entire community to be active and engaged.

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