Some parents of victims from the Marshall County High School shooting are asking for an apology from Democrat Attorney General Andy Beshear about comments Beshear made at a gubernatorial debate in Lexington.
“I, too, had also met with the parents of the Marshall County school shooting, and while I didn’t go in front of the cameras, what I offered them was every resource of our office to help the prosecutors make sure we secure justice in that situation,” Beshear said at the debate.
Brian Cope, who lost his son Preston Cope in the shooting, read aloud a statement Saturday in a Facebook livestream, sitting alongside Marshall County Judge-Executive Kevin Neal and what appears to be other parents impacted by the shooting.
“We haven’t met a person that didn’t think Mr. Beshear was implying he talked to all of us that had children directly affected by the shooting,” Cope said in the statement. “He was here two days after the shooting. Yes, he did talk to a few parents who had children affected….we want him to apologize to those of us who never saw him or any of his staff after the shooting.”
The statement goes on to say specifically parents had asked Neal to ask Beshear to clarify his comments from the debate. Cope also said Beshear “couldn’t have communicated with more than four of the families.”
“He has yet to offer an apology. And that’s why we decided to go public. He should also know that it’s not political for any of us. There’s Democrats in this room, Republicans, and independents. Politics is not a concern of this,” Cope said. “Beshear has left no doubt that he was using this tragedy that we live every single minute of every single day for his personal and political gain.”
In response to Saturday's livestream, Beshear campaign spokesperson Sam Newton released this statement:
“Attorney General Beshear traveled to the Marshall County Courthouse on January 25, 2018. During that time, he pledged his full support to the local prosecutors and county attorney, and met a roomful of impacted families that were in the courthouse for the hearing that day. Andy did not do any media interviews. His office dedicated resources, two victims’ advocates and assistance from prosecutors in the attorney general’s office in the hope of providing any possible healing and justice. Andy grieves for the families and the entire Marshall County community."
Neal sent an open letter Thursday to Beshear asking him to clarify comments from the debate. A former Marshall County attorney then sent a seperate open letter to Neal in response, saying Beshear did meet with some impacted families.
Neal on Thursday in a phone call said he believed Beshear did visit some affected families in court after the shooting, but that he still wanted Beshear to clarify the comments from the debate for the families that hadn’t heard from Beshear.
Beshear's oppenent in the gubernatorial race, Gov. Matt Bevin, accused Beshear of lying about visiting impacted families in a tweet on Thursday.