The town of Benton, Kentucky, is mourning the loss of two 15-year-old high school students, Bailey Nicole Holt and Preston Ryan Cope, shot dead Tuesday at Marshall County High School by an unidentified 15-year-old classmate who also wounded 12 other people and caused a stampede in which five other students were injured. It is America's worst school shooting of 2018 — only 23 days old — but it is also at least the country's 11th school shooting since Jan. 1, The New York Times reports. There were two on Monday, for example, in Italy, Texas, and New Orleans.
There have been about 50 school shootings in the U.S. this academic year (some were suicides, and some resulted in no injuries), and about one shooting a week since 2013, the Times says. "We have absolutely become numb to these kinds of shootings, and I think that will continue," Katherine W. Schweit, a former senior FBI official, tells the Times. She coauthored an FBI study of 160 active-shooter situations between 2000 and 2013, and a quarter of them were in educational settings, the number growing as the study went on. You can read more about how schools and states are responding at The New York Times. Peter Weber
Washington state high school student opens fire, killing classmate who tried to stop him, wounding 3 others
A 10th grade student opened fire at a high school near Spokane, Washington, on Wednesday, killing one student and injuring three others. Witnesses said the attacker rode a bus to school, carrying a rifle and handgun in a duffel bag. Three injured girls were rushed to a hospital in stable condition. The boy who was killed, Sam Strahan, was shot in the head as he urged the shooter, whose first gun had jammed, to stop firing. A staffer was credited with tackling the armed boy, identified by students as Caleb Sharpe, before police arrived. The attacker's "face was completely passive," said Elisa Vigil, a 14-year-old freshman. "I crouched down in the hall. I looked up and a girl screamed, 'Help me, help me, help me.' ... She was shot in the back."
You can learn more in this report from local NBC affiliate KHQ.
Authorities say a teenager who allegedly shot and wounded two students and a teacher Wednesday at a South Carolina elementary school killed his father earlier in the day.
Jeffrey Osborne, 47, was found dead inside his Townville home from a gunshot wound, police say. The 14-year-old suspect, who was homeschooled, is in custody, and authorities are trying to determine what ties he might have to Townville Elementary School. Chief Sheriff Deputy Keith Smith said the teen did not enter the school, and the shooting took place on the playground.
One 6-year-old victim is in critical condition and undergoing surgery, while the other victim, also 6, has been discharged from the hospital. The teacher is still being treated. The school, which has an enrollment of 286 students, was evacuated after the incident, and is closed for the rest of the week. Catherine Garcia
The mother of Dylan Klebold, one of two boys who killed 13 people at Columbine High School in 1999, gave her first televised interview Friday. Speaking to ABC's Diane Sawyer, Sue Klebold said she missed warning signs her son was depressed.
"I think we like to believe that our love and our understanding is protective, and that 'if anything were wrong with my kids, I would know,' but I didn't know, and I wasn't able to stop him from hurting other people," she said.
Klebold's interview, which you can watch here, comes as she promotes her Feb. 15 memoir, A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy. Julie Kliegman
After running to warn other students of the active shooter situation, Umpqua Community College student Chris Mintz was shot five times by gunman Christopher Harper-Mercer.
Mintz wrote that as he lay on the ground in pain, all he could tell a friend was, "Please call my son's mom and tell her I can't pick him up from school today," and that it was his son's birthday, something he had also told Harper-Mercer.
The moment he knew he'd be okay was when the first EMT, a friend of the veteran's, showed up and greeted him. Mintz wrote that he is recovering well, and stressed that he wrote more about his experience with the goal of helping his community heal.
"I have to thank all the people who responded and everyone in the hospitals," Mintz wrote. "THEY are the real heros [sic], they saved us."
Republican frontrunner Donald Trump doesn't believe stricter gun control would result in fewer mass shootings, he said Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press. In fact, he thinks more guns could be the answer to stop gunmen like Christopher Harper-Mercer, who fatally shot nine people at an Oregon community college Thursday.
"I can make the case that if there were guns in that room other than his, fewer people would've died, fewer people would've been so horribly injured," he told Chuck Todd.
Both on NBC and in a similar interview on ABC's This Week, Trump blamed gun violence on mental illness.
"No matter how you cut it, you have people that are mentally ill, and they have problems and they're going to slip through the cracks," he told ABC's George Stephanopoulos.
In fact, only 4 percent of U.S. violence can be linked to people diagnosed with mental illness, according to a 2015 American Journal of Public Health report debunking the exaggerated role some believe mental illness plays in mass shootings.
A school district in Ohio's Logan County is considering storing loaded guns in school lock boxes, so teachers and staff members could use them in an emergency.
The proposal aims to protect faculty and students against active shooter scenarios. The Dayton Daily News reports that the Riverside Local School board members discussed the gun proposal last week, and they will revisit the issue on Dec. 16.
Superintendent Scott Mann told The Dayton Daily News that the gun policy could deter active shooters from attacks in Logan County schools. He added that he does not, however, support teachers having concealed firearms within classrooms. Meghan DeMaria
Jaylen Fryberg, the popular freshman who shot five people then himself at Marysville-Pilchuck High School on Oct. 24, texted his three close friends and two cousins to meet him for lunch before shooting them, Snohomish County Sheriff Ty Trenary said Monday. Fryberg killed two 14-year-old girls — Zoe Galasso and Gia Soriano — and critically wounded Shaylee Chuckulnaskit and cousins Andrew Fryberg and Nate Hatch.
Police aren't sure how Jaylen Fryberg got ahold of the .40 caliber Berretta handgun he used in the crime, though it was legally purchased by a relative. And there is still no known motive, though Fryberg was reportedly upset about a girl and had posted mopey things on Twitter recently. Unusually in school shootings, people in the community are publicly mourning for Jaylen as well as his victims, The Associated Press notes.
Freyberg was a member of a prominent Tulalip Indian Tribes family, a football player, and had recently been selected to the homecoming court. "Usually there's so much anger and frustration and bewilderment in the aftermath, and generally the shooter is not someone who was this loved over time," mental health attorney Carolyn Reinach Wolf tells AP. "This is a very different response." Peter Weber