The alleged Kentucky shooting suspect has been named as the son of a prominent newspaper editor in the town. Gabe Parker (pictured top), 15, has been identified as the suspect, according to the Courier-Journal. Sources close to the family confirmed his identity to the paper, and explained that he is the son of the editor of the Marshall County Online, Mary Garrison Minyard. Minyard rushed to the school on Tuesday morning to cover the incident when she realized her son was the primary suspect, the sources explained. Parker has been accused of opening fire on Tuesday morning and fatally shooting two classmates and 12 others, all aged 14 to 18, as classes were just about to begin. Bailey Holt (inset right) died at the scene, while Preston Ryan Cope (inset left) was declared dead at a hospital in Nashville.
Authorities have not yet confirmed the suspect’s name, and haven’t released a potential motive.
Sources close to the family confirmed his identity to the paper, and explained that he is the son of the editor of the Marshall County Online, Mary Garrison Minyard. He is pictured Tuesday being taken into custody
Friends and others who knew Parker, a sophomore at Marshall County High School, told the Courier Journal he was a ‘grandma’s boy.’
They said the red-head went fishing with his grandparents and that ‘anything grandma needed, he would get.’
‘His grandma was his best friend,’ his neighbor Allyn Hornick told the paper.
He also said he spoke to Parker a few weeks ago, and that the boy seemed anxious and down.
Ashley Collie told the paper with her parent’s permission that she was baffled when she saw the photo of Parker being taken into custody on Tuesday.
The 15-year-old said she was in Parker’s math class and described him as ‘a really good kid.’
She said he was quiet, and that he kept to himself, according to the Journal.
Collie also said that after the shooting, some of Parker’s friends said he’d been ‘snappy’ since returning from Christmas break.
Friends also told her he talked about violence and said he was interested in joining the Mafia, according to the Journal.
Jayson Roberts told the paper that his son had several classes with Parker and that the boy didn’t have any known issues in school.
He also said Parker was well-liked by members of the school’s marching band, which he was part of.
People on social media have claimed that the Parker might have been bullied at the school.
Collie told the paper that she’d heard that but wasn’t sure if it was true.
She also said he was ‘definitely shooting to kill,’ but didn’t think he was targeting any students in particular.
Collie said she was near an industrial arts shop when the shooting started Tuesday morning, and that it took her a few seconds to realize what was happening.
Because of where she was she said she thought it was someone striking metal. But after the fifth time she realized it was gunshots.
She took refuge in a teacher’s office with several other students for 45 minutes until police arrived at the school.
‘That was the most horrifying part,’ Collie told the Journal.
The suspect, now thought to be Parker, was arrested and charged with two counts of murder and 12 counts of assault. He was charged as a juvenile. A prayer circle was held at the high school on Wednesday, the day after the shooting
Gage Smock, from Gilbertsville, Kentucky, is one of the 12 who was injured in Tuesday's shooting. The high school reopened to students on Friday
The suspect, now thought to be Parker, was arrested and charged with two counts of murder and 12 counts of assault. He was charged as a juvenile.
He is still in custody and prosecutors will move to have him tried as an adult within the coming week, Assistant County Attorney Jason Darnhall said at a closed hearing Thursday, according to the paper.
The high school reopened Friday with an assembly in the gymnasium so students and teachers could thank first responders. Collie said that after the assembly students were given the option to leave which she did.
She said some students are angry at Parker. However, one of the girls who was injured in Tuesday’s incident said the school should forgive him because ‘he was hurting too.’
Funerals for the two teens will be held Sunday. The families requested privacy, but said they will make a public statement on Saturday.
This week was supposed to be Spirit Week at the high school – but all events were cancelled after Tuesday’s shooting.
Two of Parker’s neighbors told the paper that police were in and out of his home on Tuesday after the shooting, with one describing the scene as ‘very busy.’
The second neighbor said police officers and agents he thinks were with the federal bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives carried out a laptop and multiple boxes.
George Huffman, who works for the ATF Louisville Division, said his department traced the handgun used in the shooting. He wouldn’t give details about what type of gun it is or how the shooter got it.
Collie said some students are angry at Parker. However, one of the girls who was injured in Tuesday's incident said the school should forgive him because 'he was hurting too.' A group are pictured at Briensburg Baptist Church near the school on Tuesday all comforting each other after a prayer vigil
A man lays his hand on the shoulder of a loved one as a girl lays her head on the opposite side while attending a prayer vigil at Briensburg Baptist Church on Tuesday
Students are pictured embracing after a prayer vigil at a nearby high school on Wednesday. Authorities have not yet confirmed the suspect's name, and haven't released a potential motive
Hornick said Parker’s mother doesn’t have guns in the home. It’s not clear if his father, Austin Parker, did. The couple were separated in 2007 and both remarried.
Austin also divorced his next wife and Gabe’s stepmother, Jennifer Lynn Parker, in 2017. The split happened in 2016 after he allegedly slapped her during an argument.
Austin was charged with fourth-degree assault. He pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of disorderly conduct and spent 90 days in jail and was conditionally discharged for two years.
Police said they found Jennifer Lynn Parker with a large red mark on her face after the couple’s alleged fight. She petitioned for a domestic violence order,’ and described Austin as ‘controlling and a bully.’ She claimed he’d slapped her once before, and said he’s ‘always had a short fuse.’
Neither of the divorce proceedings mention Gabe except to mention his name and date of birth, and say his parents agreed to joint custody.
Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin called on Americans Friday to ‘wake up’ and recognize that school shootings are a ‘cultural problem.’
‘We have become desensitized to death, we have become desensitized to killing, we have become desensitized to empathy for our fellow man and it’s coming at an extraordinary price and we have got to look at the root causes of this,’ Bevin told The Associated Press.
‘We can’t celebrate death in video games, celebrate death in TV shows, celebrate death in movies, celebrate death in musical lyrics and remove any sense of morality and sense of higher authority and then expect that things like this are not going to happen.’
The Republican governor spoke at a community event in Benton, where he was followed by the father of one of the slain students.
Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin called on Americans Friday to 'wake up' and recognize that school shootings are a 'cultural problem.'
'We have become desensitized to death, we have become desensitized to killing, we have become desensitized to empathy for our fellow man and it's coming at an extraordinary price and we have got to look at the root causes of this,' Bevin told The Associated Press, He is pictured with the parents of Bailey Holt, left, and parents of other victims
Bevin called then on the power of prayer to help combat Louisville's rising murder rate, and urged people to form prayer groups to walk high-crime neighborhoods. Bevin is pictured, left, consoling members of the community in Benton, Kentucky
Sobbing, Jasen Holt asked for prayers for all the ‘sweet kids’ who were killed, injured or traumatized.
‘It’s not only ours, it’s about all of them,’ said Holt, whose daughter Bailey Nicole Holt was the first to die.
‘Just pray and take care of each and every one of them.’
The governor declared a statewide day of prayer Sunday for the grief-stricken county. It was reminiscent of his response to a wave of urban gun violence last year.
Bevin called then on the power of prayer to help combat Louisville’s rising murder rate, and urged people to form prayer groups to walk high-crime neighborhoods.
Skeptics wondered aloud whether that would deter gun-wielding thugs.
Bevin, a social conservative who has made it clear that he won’t sign laws that restrict guns, said he’s prepared for more skepticism as he once again asks Kentuckians to pray.
But he said he believes God intervenes on behalf ‘of his people’ when they call out to him in prayer.
‘There are people who do not understand and do not believe in the things we’re talking about right now,’ he said.
‘And there will be all the social media trolls and people that will scorn and mock and will ridicule the fact that we would call out to our Creator at a time like this.’
At the same time, Bevin said prayer won’t help explain the inexplicable.
‘There really are no answers to the questions that are in our minds,’ he said. ‘
And even when we have all the facts, we still don’t have the answers. That’s just a harsh reality of this.
‘Because this side of eternity, there are no answers to the very things that have torn this community apart. But this I know: We can sustain one another, we can support one another.’
Brian Cope, the father of one of the two who was killed in Tuesday’s shooting, told the Louisville Courier Journal that he knew his son was among the victims when he peered into an ambulance and saw the Nike socks he had laid out the night before.
‘We want to thank each and every person, from the East Coast to the West Coast, because we feel the prayers, we feel so much love,’ Cope said.
SOURCE: AP / Daily Mail – Abigail Miller