(Reuters) – A 15-year-old boy opened fire with a handgun in his high school in western Kentucky on Tuesday, killing two classmates and wounding a dozen others before being arrested, the state’s governor and police said.
The shooting began shortly before 8 a.m. CST at Marshall County High School in Benton, Kentucky, a town about 130 miles (210 km) northwest of Nashville, Tennessee, according to Kentucky State Police and Governor Matt Bevin.
The bloodshed 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.
Fourteen students were struck by gunfire, and two of them were fatally wounded. One, a 15-year-old girl, died at the scene, and a 15-year-old boy was pronounced dead at a hospital trauma center, Bevin told a news conference hours later.
Five of the 12 surviving wounded students were taken to the same trauma center, and another five students suffered non-gunshot injuries, Bevin said.
Police said the violence erupted when the 15-year-old suspect walked into the school armed with a handgun and started shooting. The governor said the youth was apprehended at the scene “in a nonviolent way.” No further details of the circumstances of the shooting were immediately divulged by authorities.
None of the students involved were being publicly identified, Bevin said.
(Reporting by Colleen Jenkins in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and Peter Szekely in New York; Writing by Steve Gorman; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Jonathan Oatis)