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One person was killed and several others were wounded in a shooting on Tuesday at a high school in western Kentucky, where the lone suspect was arrested shortly after the violence erupted, state police said.
The shooting occurred around 8 am 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 posts on Twitter.
The bloodshed marked the latest episode of gun violence that has become a regular occurrence at schools and college campuses across the United States over the past several years.
Official details were initially sketchy, but state police said the person who opened fire was apprehended within 15 minutes of the shooting.
“The scene is secured, (and) the suspect is in custody,” police said. The state police’s initial Twitter alert reported there were “multiple victims,” one of whom had been pronounced dead.
Local television station WPSD-TV, an NBC network affiliate in Paducah, Kentucky, said the person killed was a student. Reuters could not initially confirm this.
#MarshallCounty High Shooting: Two student are deceased. One male and one female. The shooter was a student. A 15 YO male who is now in custody.
— KY State Police (@kystatepolice) January 23, 2018
Helicopters flew five of the wounded to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, but no information was immediately available on their conditions, hospital spokeswoman Kristin Smart said.
Agents from the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) were dispatched to the scene, Mark Doran, an ATF investigator in Paducah, Kentucky, said by phone. He did not elaborate. Federal Bureau of Investigation agents also were reported to be at the school.
A Marshall County sheriff’s deputy took the shooter into custody, Sergeant Josh Lawson, a state police spokesperson, said by phone. Lawson said he had no further details about the assailant or regarding how many people were wounded and how serious their injuries were.
A state police official who did not identify himself told reporters awaiting a news conference at the Marshall County Board of Education that authorities “have one person in custody and we don’t have any reason to believe” anyone else was responsible.
School officials and the county sheriff could not immediately be reached for further details.
The school in Benton, the county seat, has an enrollment of 1,146 students in grades 10 through 12. Marshall County has a population of about 31,000 people.
Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin called the shooting a “tremendous tragedy” in a statement posted on Twitter.
“It is unbelievable that this would happen in a small, close-knit community like Marshall County,” he added.