LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – As word of the shooting at Marshall County High School lawmakers at Kentucky’s Capitol paused for a moment of silence. 2nd District State Senator and Marshall County High School alumni Danny Carroll released a statement that he was “heartbroken” by the news. Senator Carroll then jumped on a plane and flew home.
State Representative Will Coursey, a Democrat from House District 6, wrote, "words cannot describe the grief our community feels as we try to comprehend this senseless tragedy".
The Attorney General described resources that he's offering to help those impacted while another state rep. urged compassion. She knows that the community will need the compassion and support because her small community understands the pain too well.
"It was a terrifying time and it galvanized not just those students but an entire generation in the school system," Rep. Jill York said.
The District 96 Republican, York, described East Carter High in Grayson where on January 18, 1993, a student murdered a teacher and a custody then took his classmates hostage. Representative York's husband was an East Carter student at the time but fortunately not in the class the young gunman attacked.
“My husband and his family lived close enough to the school that, at that time, this was in the days before we had big evacuations plans for violent acts in our schools. Kids were actually fleeing the campus and being sheltered in his house and using the phone there to be able to contact their families to let them know how they were ok,” she said.
Rep. York knows the impacts of the ripple effect that hit her small community and is certainly being felt across Marshall County tonight. She urged compassion and resources from her colleagues and those serving in office.
“I would caution everyone who works in public service to resist any urges to politicize this because right now,” Rep. York said. “We need to focus on the human element, care for the folks, care for the wounded. Our prayers for the community and administrators who are going to have to bring these students together and move forward. Let's do that first then we can talk about solutions and what might need to be happening in the future later on."
We also met with Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear who was monitoring the situation from Frankfort.
"Our main focus in this office is on the victims of this shooting and of all violent crime and making sure we do everything we can to put them on the best path towards healing,” General Beshear said.
The AG told us that his office has offered not only prosecutorial help but also help through victim’s advocates.
One of those advocates survived the Heath High School Shooting in Paducah just more than 20 years ago.
“I hope our resources, Brittaney's guidance and counsel can be helpful because if we can reduce this trauma even by just a little bit for these families after they are able to get through today, then we've done something,” he said.