State

‘She would tell us ... forgive him.’ Slain student’s aunt shares girl’s story

Bailey Holt
Bailey Holt

Bailey Holt, the 15-year-old girl killed at Marshall County High School Tuesday, was comfortable in her own skin and perfect in every way, according to her aunt.

Tracy Tubbs said Bailey was an old soul who loved old rock ’n’ roll music like Van Halen and Def Leppard. She was described as a girl who loved being with her family, even when most 15-year-olds would rather be with their friends at the movies.

“On any given day, she would rather be with her mom and dad,” Tubbs said. “She would sit in her dad’s lap even at 15. She was a daddy’s girl, good to her little sister and an amazing role model.”

Tubbs added that Bailey was tall and beautiful “and had no idea how beautiful she was inside and out.”

Bailey was one of two students to die in Tuesday’s shooting. Bailey died at the school and Preston Cope died later that morning at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

In addition to Bailey and Preston, 18 others were injured in the shooting.

Bailey would have taken the suspect as a friend in a heartbeat, Tubbs said.

“She would absolutely tell us all to stop all the fuss, not to be angry, forgive him and pray for his mom,” Tubbs said. “She would, in a heartbeat, stand by those words. She would not have an angry bone in her body. She would rather us turn our pain into something good, and that’s the best way we are going to represent her life.”

Tubbs said she and Bailey’s parents hope people use the hashtag #BeLikeBailey to post pictures or words of encouragement.

While Bailey wouldn’t want her to be, Tubbs can’t help but be angry, she said.

“We are angry this kid was suffering so very much he wanted others to suffer,” Tubbs said. “We are angry that her height made her an easy target. We are angry she is not going to walk in that door. We are angry that she was not on that bus waiting to be let out. But we are also praising God because we know where she is at. If given the opportunity to come back to this evil world, she would absolutely say no.”

Bailey2
Bailey Holt Tracy Tubbs

Bailey’s mother, Secret Holt, spoke to NBC News correspondent Gabe Gutierrez Wednesday and said her daughter, who had aspirations of being a nurse, had her future planned.

“I miss everything about her already. She was just so beautiful and perfect,” Secret Holt said.

“I know that she would have been the shooter’s friend in a heartbeat if she knew that he needed someone to talk to,” the mother added.

Tubbs said she knows something good will come of Tuesday’s tragic events, and they will just have to wait and see what that will be.

“She was just a wonderful, wonderful human being,” Tubbs said. “It saddens us that it took her leaving the earth for us to be able to share how wonderful she was.”

Funeral arrangements have not yet been scheduled for Bailey.

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Mike Stunson: 859-231-1324, @mike_stunson

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