Marshall County Shooting Victims' Families Sue School District
The families of four victims of the Marshall County School District shooting have filed a civil lawsuit against the school district a day before the one-year anniversary of the event.
The families of Bailey Holt, Gage Smock, Mary Bella James, and Dalton Keeling filed the suit. Holt was killed in the shooting while the other three were injured. The family of Preston Cope, who also died in the shooting is not listed as a plaintiff in the case.
The suit alleges the school district failed to train school district staff properly to handle the shooting and that the district emergency action plan in place failed to work. It also alleges the school district should have known about the school shooter’s dangerous tendencies.
The families are also suing the school shooter’s parents, saying they should have better secured their household gun.
Sheila Hiestand is one of the Louisville-based lawyers representing the families. Hiestand said the suit is meant to bring policy change to help the school district better prepare for shootings in the future.
“Every single one of these parents have said all they want is change. We can’t continue to watch these massacres occur day after day and sit idly by while no one intervenes to save the lives of our current and future students and teachers,” Hiestand said.
Hiestand said the suit had to be filed the day before the shooting anniversary because Kentucky law only allows civil suits to be filed in wrongful death cases within one year after the date of death.
Michael Owsely, the attorney representing the school district, said despite that the suit is poorly timed.
“It’s such a time for reflection with the year coming up tomorrow that it’s a difficult time there for everybody, even without the litigation,” Owsely said.
Owsely said the allegations against the school district are not true and that the district will be exonerated.
Read the lawsuit documents here: