Authorities investigate the scene after a deadly shooting at Marshall County High School in Benton, Kentucky.
Authorities investigate the scene after a deadly shooting at Marshall County High School in Benton, Kentucky. Ryan Hermens

School killings bring call for tougher gun laws

TWO teenagers have been killed and more than a dozen injured by a 15-year-old male student with a handgun at a high school in the US.

Terrified pupils ran for their lives, ditching bags and scrambling to get away from Marshall County High School in Benton, Kentucky as ambulances, police cars and officers with assault rifles rushed to the scene.

Students were reported as trying to break down fences and gates in a panic to escape.

A 15-year-old girl died at the scene and a 15-year-old boy was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

The boy was one of six people flown to hospital in the wake of the gunfire.

Of the 18 injured, 12 were gunshot victims - with three shot in the head. Others received injuries trying to escape.

"I'm distraught from all of it,” student Greg Rodgers, 17, told NBC News.

"I couldn't really focus driving home. I was shaking a lot driving back to my house. I'm still shaking.”

Police Commissioner Richard Sanders said the accused was armed with a handgun when he walked into the school and started shooting.

Governor Matt Bevin said the suspect was arrested at the scene "in a non-violent way”.

Business owner Mitchell Garland said students were "crying and screaming” while running out of the school after the shooting.

"Everyone is just scared. Just terrified for their kids,” Mr Garland said.

There have been 13 school shootings - in California, Texas, Ohio, Illinois, Washington state and New Mexico - this year. This is the first to turn fatal.

"It's horrifying that we can no longer call school shootings 'unimaginable' because the reality is they happen with alarming frequency,” said former politician Gabrielle Giffords, who survived being shot in the head in an assassination attempt in 2011.

She called on Congress to strengthen gun laws.

- Mythili Sampathkumar, The Independent



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