Marshall County Sheriff Kevin Byars opens up about MCHS shooting
MARSHALL COUNTY, KY- A little over a week after the shooting at Marshall County High School, we’re hearing the firsthand account of the sheriff who arrested the shooting suspect.
The shooting hit home for Sheriff Kevin Byars. He grew up in the community, and Marshall County High School is his alma mater.
“All available units to Marshall County High School. We have an active shooter in the commons area of the high school” a 911 dispatcher said.
Those were calls the 20-year law enforcement veteran never thought he would hear come from his old high school.
“It was a very difficult, one of the most horrible days in my 20-plus years in law enforcement, without doubt,” Byars said.
He was on scene within minutes.
“You’re hearing the kids as they’re running, the faculty, and things such as that. To see that area in that shape, it sets you back,” Byars said.
After a sweeping search, Byars said he arrested the 15 year-old suspect.
“From the time the call came out to the time he was in custody was probably less than 15 minutes, but it felt like it was hours. Like I said, it felt like time stood still,” Byars said.
The things he saw at Marshall County High School the day of the shooting followed him home to his wife and two daughters.
“The first thing that both of my girls did is come and hug me. That’s when it set in,” Byars said.
As relieved as he was to see his children, his heart broke for the families of the two children that were lost in the shooting.
“I struggle with: I’m thankful that mine are safe; then I got others that are injured, and two families that lost their child. And how can I feel thankful when they lost theirs?” Byars said.
With tough days ahead, he said his heart is with the victims, students, and staff at the school.
“This will always be a part of them. Always be a part of them. Like I said, I graduated 35 years ago, and it’s going to be a part of me now,” Byars said.
He knows his county is not defined by the senseless violence witnessed Jan. 23.
“As our bracelets that we all wear say, we are Marshall strong, and we’ll remain Marshall strong,” Byars said.
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