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Shootings on or near campuses claim five lives so far this year


Robyn Beck | AFP

University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) cheering squad member Gala Hernandez (L), grieving for a friend killed in Sunday night's mass shooting, is comforted by a teammate beside the 58 crosses placed in memory of the shooting victims, on the Las Vegas Strip just south of the Mandalay Bay hotel, October 6, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. On October 1, 2017 Stephen Paddock killed at least 58 people and injured more than 450 after he opened fire on a large crowd at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival. The massacre is one of the deadliest mass shooting events in US history. / AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck

John Burger - published on 01/25/18

For families of those killed, it might as well be Columbine or Newtown

They might not be getting the national attention that the school shootings at Columbine and Newtown got, but since the beginning of the year there have been eleven uses of firearms at schools across the United States, resulting in five deaths.

For every family who lost a child, it might as well be Columbine or Newtown.

The Holts of Benton, Ky., were one of those families. They said their 15-year-old daughter, Bailey, called them during a gun attack at Marshall County High School in western Kentucky Tuesday.

“She called me and all I could hear was voices, chaos in the background,” Bailey’s mother, Secret Holt, told ABC affiliate WKRN on Wednesday. “She couldn’t say anything, and I tried to call her name over and over and over and she never responded.”

“We rushed to the high school, and they wouldn’t let us get through,” she said.

Secret and her husband, Jasen Holt, waited for her to get off one of the buses being used to transport surviving students out of the school. She never appeared.

“The principal at North Marshal came and got me, and took us outside and we got in a cop car and they took us to the fire department and told us what had happened,” Secret Holt said.

The Holts learned the awful news that Bailey was one of two students killed when a classmate opened fire. The other student, Preston Cope, also 15, died at the hospital.

Police said they arrested a 15-year-old male suspect in connection with the shooting. They did not release his name, but witnesses said he was a fellow student. He faces preliminary charges of murder and assault—he allegedly injured at least 18 others—as authorities try to figure out what may have prompted the attack.

Secret Holt, who said her daughter wanted to be a labor and delivery nurse, said she would pray for the shooter.

Law enforcement said the victims who were injured included a special needs student who was shot in the arm. His arm may now need to be amputated, CNN reported.

Here is a roundup of other incidents involving firearms on or near campuses so far this year:

Jan. 3: A 31-year-old man shot and killed himself in the parking lot of East Olive Elementary School in St. Johns, Mich.

Jan. 4: A person fired a bullet that entered an office window at New Start High School in Seattle. No one was injured.

Jan. 6: A person shot out the window of a school bus in the Forest City School District in Iowa. No one was hurt by the bullet or by the shattering glass.

Jan. 9: A 14-year-old boy killed himself in a bathroom of the Coronado Elementary School in Sierra Vista, Ariz., with a family member’s gun.

Jan. 10: Shots were fired at California State University San Bernardino. A bullet went through a window of the Visual Arts building, and students and staff sheltered in place while law enforcement investigated. No one was injured.

Jan. 10: A student at the Grayson College Criminal Justice Center in Denison, Texas, accidentally fired a gun, sending a bullet through a classroom wall, which came out through the other side and went out a window.

Jan. 15: Three students were in a dorm room at Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, when a bullet was fired into the room. Police say that two people in a dark sedan pulled up to the parking lot of the dorm room and exchanged fire with someone in the lot.

Jan. 20:  Najee Ali Baker, a 21-year-old Winston-Salem State University student, was killed while attending an event at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C. Law enforcement said Baker was shot after an altercation at an Greek Life event around 1am.

Jan. 22: A 14-year-old student was taken to the hospital after shots rang out at the Net Charter School in Gentilly, La. It’s not clear from reports whether the injury was a gunshot wound or another wound that happened in the chaos of the shooting, according to Think Progress. The police chief said there was a dark-colored pickup truck with possibly tinted windows in the area of the school, and that someone in the truck fired the shots.

Jan. 22: A 15-year-old girl was shot and wounded after a 16-year-old male student opened fire with a semi-automatic handgun in the cafeteria of Italy High School in Italy, Texas. Both the suspect and the victim were students at the high school, according to police.

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