Kentucky teen charged as adult in fatal school shootings
BENTON, Ky. (AP) — A 15-year-old boy accused of opening fire inside his Kentucky high school will be tried as an adult on murder charges.
Gabriel Ross Parker was indicted on two murder charges and 14 assault charges for the Jan. 23 shootings at Marshall County High School. Two 15-year-old students were killed in the shootings, with many more injured.
The two-page indictment released Friday said Parker fired a handgun into a crowd of people in the commons area of the high school.
Parker’s identity had not been disclosed before Friday’s arraignment. The grand jury met on Tuesday to consider charging Parker in adult court.
Calls to Parker’s relatives were not answered on Friday afternoon.
Bailey Nicole Holt and Preston Ryan Cope were killed and another 18 people were injured at the high school in far western Kentucky. Holt died at the scene and Cope died later at a hospital. Other shooting victims were identified in the indictment by their initials.
The murder charges against Parker carry a minimum sentence of 20 years in prison upon conviction, and the assault charges a minimum of 10 years. Parker’s case will proceed in the courts as an ordinary criminal trial since he has been charged as an adult. But the law requires that he remain at a juvenile jail, not in the general population of a county facility.
The town of Benton where the shootings occurred continues to mourn nearly a month later. On Thursday, dozens gathered for a candlelight vigil for the victims of a Florida school shooting that left 17 dead.