State

Bevin proclaims Sunday a day of prayer for school shooting victims

Jasen and Secret Holt, the parents of Marshall County High School shooting victim Bailey Holt, listened as Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin spoke Friday at the Marshall County Children’s Art Center in Benton before signing a proclamation declaring Sunday a day of prayer for the school shooting victims.
Jasen and Secret Holt, the parents of Marshall County High School shooting victim Bailey Holt, listened as Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin spoke Friday at the Marshall County Children’s Art Center in Benton before signing a proclamation declaring Sunday a day of prayer for the school shooting victims. The Paducah Sun/AP

Gov. Matt Bevin proclaimed Sunday a day of prayer for the Marshall County High School shooting victims.

Bevin, who spoke Friday at the county’s Children’s Art Center in Benton, said he is proud of the way people in Marshall County have represented the state this week.

“What we do and what we say and how we conduct ourselves at times like this sends powerful messages about who we are (and) about what this community is about,” he said.

He said the world will be a better place for the loss that Marshall County experienced, and he encouraged prayer in the community and statewide. Bevin’s day of prayer coincides with the funerals for the two 15-year-olds who were killed in Tuesday’s shooting.

“I want this Sunday to be transformative for the state of Kentucky,” he said.

Prayer is a common tool for Bevin, who urged people in June to form prayer groups as a way to battle gun violence in Louisville.

Bailey Holt and Preston Cope were killed and 21 more students were injured in the shooting allegedly carried out by another 15-year-old student, according to police. The suspect was arrested at the school and appeared in front of a judge Thursday, according to assistant county attorney Jason Darnall.

Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rick Sanders also spoke Friday morning. He offered words of comfort to Holt’s family, who was in attendance.

“I spent a lot of time this week in your community. I spent a lot of time with our governor yesterday, and I promise you we have prayed for you,” Sanders said. “We have grieved, we have cried, and we have prayed, and we will continue to be there for you.”

Two male patients from the high school remain at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, according to hospital spokesperson Kristin Smart. Both patients were in stable condition Friday.

The prosecution is seeking to charge the suspect as an adult.

Marshall County High School resumed classes Friday, three days after the shooting.

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