Marshall Co. shooting suspect name released; charged with murder - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

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Marshall Co. shooting suspect name released; charged with murder and assault

(Source: KFVS) (Source: KFVS)
Gabriel Parker seen in handcuffs after the shooting. Gabriel Parker seen in handcuffs after the shooting.
(Source: KFVS) (Source: KFVS)
Preston Cope (Courtesy of the Marshall County Daily) Preston Cope (Courtesy of the Marshall County Daily)
Bailey Holt (Source: Secret Holt) Bailey Holt (Source: Secret Holt)
BENTON, KY (KFVS) -

Officials have released the name of the 15-year-old Marshall County High School shooting suspect.

According to Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Jacob Ford, his name is Gabriel R. Parker of Hardin, Kentucky.

He is charged with two counts of murder and fourteen counts of first-degree assault.

Parker was arraigned in Marshall County Circuit Court on Friday, February 16.

According to Marshall County Assistant County Attorney Jason Darnall, Parker's next court appearance will be August 3.

Victims laid to rest

The victims of the Marshall County High School shooting were laid to rest on Sunday, January 28.

Family and friends gave a final goodbye to Bailey Holt and Preston Cope.

Preston Cope's funeral was at the Marshall County High School Gymnasium and he was laid to rest at Memory Gardens in Benton, Ky.

Bailey Holt's funeral was carried out at the Twin Lakes Worship Center. She was laid to rest at Mullinax Cemetery in Calvert City, Ky.

Families release statement about the victims

Family and friends of Bailey Holt and Preston Cope released statements following the visitations of the two Marshall County High School students.

Tracy Tubbs, Bailey Holt's aunt, spoke about Bailey's final moments as well as her interests.

"Bailey's parents want the world to know one detail in her final moments," said Tubbs. "On Jan. 23 at 8:10 a.m. when the shots began, Bailey made a call to her mom, Secret. Of course, we assumed she intended to tell her mother the catastrophic events unfolding. Unfortunately, it was too late. For she taken from this earth. By the time her mother answered the phone, Bailey was gone."

Tubbs also mentioned Bailey's love for the Louisville Cardinals. The University of Louisville even reached out and gave her two jerseys from the team.

Jackie Reid, Principal of Sharp Elementary, worked with Preston Cope's mother and spoke about his interests and hobbies.

Reid said Preston played baseball for the Marshall Co. High School baseball team and was a big Cardinals fan.

"His dad speaks about one of the greatest opportunities that Preston has was to be able to play at Busch Stadium whenever the high school team got to play there last year," said Reid. "He said that is a memory they're going to hang on to forever."

Reid also spoke of Preston's love for the outdoors and history even making a visit to Gettysburg.

Funeral arrangements were made for both through the Collier Funeral Home in Benton, Ky.

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin declared Sunday, Jan. 28 as a statewide Day of Prayer.

The Kentucky State Police has finished processing the crime scene at Marshall County High School after two students died and several were injured after a shooting on Tuesday, January 23.

Suspect in court

An arraignment is set for Friday, February 16, at 1 p.m. in Benton, KY.

The 15-year-old suspect in the Marshall County High School shooting was in court on Thursday, January 25.

He is facing two counts of murder and 14 counts of first-degree assault. In Kentucky, assault carries the same penalty as attempted murder.

According to Marshall County Assistant County Attorney Jason Darnall, the suspect appeared in juvenile court and was ordered detained. He will be transferred to a juvenile facility.

According to Darnell, they felt the assault charges are the right way to go at this point and they carry the same penalties as attempted murder charges.

Darnell said in a news conference on Wednesday, only victims and victim family members will be allowed in the juvenile hearing. They will then ask the court to certify him as an adult and then take the case to a Marshall County Grand Jury already scheduled for February 13.

The suspect is being held in a secure juvenile facility. All the victims are being notified in case they want to attend the hearing today.

Marshall County Schools Superintendent Trent Lovett also spoke during the news conference on Wednesday.

After seeking advice from school leaders and authorities across the country, Lovett said they've decided getting things back to normal is the best course of action.

The elementary and middle school will return to class today at regular times. Lovett said parents will be allowed to attend school with their children and buses will run at regularly scheduled times.

The high school will not be in session. Lovett did not announce when it will re-open.

He thanked all of his students and staff, noted several acts of heroism and praised first responders.

Victims of the shooting

Bailey Holt's mother Secret Holt released photos to KFVS on Wednesday morning.

“We feel all the prayers and so appreciate the support. But, please also remember the other innocent victims in this horrific act of violence. She was such a perfect sweet soul and this is just unbearable for our family,” Secret said.

The original number of people affected by the shooting was 20. State police in Kentucky have reported that number is now 23. Sixteen suffered gunshot wounds. Seven more were injured in the incident. 

There were five male patients taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn. One being Preston Cope who later died at the hospital. Their ages ranged from 14 to 18-years-old.

As of 4 p.m. on Wednesday, the information officer at Vanderbilt University Medical Center reported the female patient who went to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital on Tuesday night was discharged.

As of Thursday, two more patients were discharged. On Sunday, the information officer said one patient was discharged. Leaving one patient remaining in their care. He is in stable condition.

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin said the shooter was also a 15-year-old male student, during a joint news conference with the Kentucky State Police. He said 16 others received gunshot wounds and four students received non-gunshot related injuries. The four students were injured while trying to escape the scene.

Special needs student Daniel Austin, 17, suffered a gunshot wound to the right arm, according to his mother. After the shooting, a teacher rushed him to the hospital.

Three students who were transported to Lourdes Hospital in Paducah have been released.

"This is a wound that is going to take a long time to heal, and for some in this community will never heal," Bevin said. 

All Marshall County Schools have called off classes on Wednesday, January 24.

The shooting

At 7:57 a.m., the gunman entered the school and began shooting with a handgun.

Police received the first 911 call at 7:59 a.m.

Less than 10 minutes after, first responders arrived on the scene.

Kentucky State Police said the investigation is ongoing, and the suspect was taken into custody by Marshall County Sheriff Department at the school. Bevin said the suspect was detained in a non-violent manner.

The identity of the suspected shooter has not been released by authorities.

Three teenagers had gunshot wounds to the head, one to the arm, and another to the chest and stomach according to Oscar Guillamondegui, M.D., MPH, Medical Director of Trauma ICU. They were all listed in stable condition and were expected to survive their injuries.

Students were transported to North Marshall Middle School after the incident where parents were told to pick them, according to a post on the school's Facebook page.

One student said they could never look at their school the same way again.

Today there will be sheriff's deputies at all county schools to assist the resource officers.

Parents of the victims were notified.

People were asked not to call the school or Marshall County Dispatch.

Kentucky State Police said anyone with a vehicle parked on the high school's property will be allowed to pick up their vehicle at 4 p.m. on Tuesday. They could pick up their vehicle at the Highway 68 entrance. If the keys to their vehicle were inside the building, they had to bring a second set, as they were not allowed to enter any buildings on the campus.

The investigation

The investigation is being led by the Kentucky State Police Critical Incident Response Team (KSP CIRT), with assistance from local and federal agencies.

They were assisted Tuesday by the Marshall County Sheriff's Department and the McCracken County Sheriff's Department.

The investigation will include looking into the teen’s home life, along with interviews with student witnesses and others in the are when it happened.

The entire school is being treated as a “dynamic crime scene.”  The entrance is currently blocked off.  Investigators expect their work will take several days.

KSP Critical Incident Response Team was still working the crime scene Tuesday.

The Kentucky State Police Commissioner said the event struck the heart of Kentucky.

Community responses

Marshall County High School is home of the Marshals.  It is an extremely tight-knit community. 

High school football and basketball games are a community event.  The stands are always full of parents, grandparents, former students and teachers.

A recent report on school performance reports 1,369 students are enrolled with a 94 percent graduation rate.

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

Several lawmakers and community officials have expressed their reactions following the tragedy.

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.

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