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Investigators Trying To Understand Motive In Kentucky School Shooting

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

In western Kentucky, people in Marshall County are still in shock one day after a high school shooting killed two students and injured 16 others. A 15-year-old male student remains in custody. Taylor Inman of member station WKMS talks to community members who continue to struggle with this moment.

TAYLOR INMAN, BYLINE: At a vigil this afternoon at First Baptist Church in Murray, Ky., people turned out to pray.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: So Lord Jesus, we come to you right now.

INMAN: Vigils like this one are happening across the region. Resident Jeannie Saylor attended the gathering. She says even though her son didn't attend the school where the shootings happened, he's lost his sense of security.

JEANNIE SAYLOR: As a mom, I've got a child that is about to turn 18. He's a Boy Scout. And my big ole boy looked at me this morning and said, I'm afraid to go to school. What if there's a copycat - just very burdened for the innocence lost for our children.

INMAN: A few miles away, the mood was somber this morning at Hutchen's Diner in Benton just down the road from the high school. Jonathan Smith had tears in his eyes as he reflected on yesterday's events. He's a firefighter and was among the first on the scene.

JONATHAN SMITH: Is it going to happen again - quite possibly. That seems to be the norm that's happening in today's society. Can we prevent it?

INMAN: Marshall County High School was closed today, and the streets are still blocked off. Superintendent Trent Lovett told reporters they're still wrestling with how to help students.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

TRENT LOVETT: We've had some recommendations about when to start school back. And I know there's been some questions about that from across the nation. We've been listening to some advice, and they think we need to get back to normalcy as soon as possible.

INMAN: The high school will remain closed for the time being, but elementary and middle school students return to class tomorrow along with their parents, if they want them there. For NPR News, I'm Taylor Inman in Benton, Ky. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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