Journalist Discovers Son Is Shooter

PUBLISHED: 12:52 AM 30 Jan 2018
UPDATED: 12:53 AM 30 Jan 2018

Journalist Rushing To Cover Story Gets Shock Of A Lifetime

Imagine what this woman was feeling when she discovered the shooter was her son.

This mother thought she was going to cover a story about a school shooting.

On Tuesday, January 23, an editor for the Marshall County Daily Online receive some of the most terrifying news that a mother can receive.  There was a shooting at her son’s school.

When she arrived, however, she quickly discovered that her son was not a victim of the shooter. Rather, her son WAS the shooter who injured and killed his own classmates.

Mary Garrison Minyard, the mother of 15-year-old Gabe Parker, discovered to her horror that it was Gabe who drew a handgun in the middle of the school day and shot 16 classmates, killing two.

Neighbors and classmates seemed shocked that it was Gabe Parker who brought a firearm to their high school.  They knew Gabe as a shy red-head who played trombone for the school band, and as the kid who spent a lot of time with his grandparents.

Neighbors who knew Gabe described his a ‘grandma’s boy,’ saying that anything his grandmother needed, he would fetch for her and that it seemed that his grandmother was his best friend.

Schoolmates said that it was surprising that it was Gabe Parker who was shown in images being walked out of the school by police officers after the shooting.  Ashley Collie, a 15-year-old fellow student who shared a math class with Gabe two years ago, said that he appeared to be a “really good kid,” and that he kept to himself.

Another student that had classes with Gabe said that they knew of no problems that Gabe was having and that Gabe was well-liked by most people he interacted with, particularly with people in the school’s band.

However, some of Parker’s friends said that he returned from the Christmas/Winter break somewhat ‘snappy,’ and he talked about violence.  Others pointed out that he talked about joining the mafia, which is not at all active in Kentucky to any discernible extent.

His neighbor in Pirate’s Cove said that when last he talked to Parker, the young man seemed ‘down,’ and that he seemed to be anxious about school in general.

Others mentioned hearing rumors that Gabe Parker had been bullied, although no one could name any person, or even any group of people, that had bullied the youth.

Ashley Collie suggested that Parker had been shooting at random students without any particular reason, but suggested that he was certainly shooting to kill because a number of the students were shot in the head.

Minutes after the shooting, Gabe Parker was arrested and charged with two counts of murder and with 12 counts of assault.  In all cases, he was charged as a juvenile, not an adult.  However, after a hearing (closed to the public) in Marshall District Court, Assistant County Attorney Jason Darnall stated that county prosecutors would move within the week to try Gabe Parker as an adult for the crimes he committed on that fateful Tuesday.

Neighbors stated that the house was very busy after the shooting, and that police and agents from the Bureau of Alchohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (likely from the Louisville Division) were seen going in and out of the house all day.

Neighbors said that they did not believe that Parker’s mother, who he lived with, kept firearms in the house, which brings up the question of where the handgun was purchased.  In the state of Kentucky, an individual must be 21 or older in order to legally purchase a firearm.

Parker’s mother and father, as with so many families in the United States, divorced when Parker was young. Gabe Parker’s father, Austin Parker, refused to comment on the shooting in any way, although it is alleged that Austin Parker separated from his most recent wife after accusations that he slapped her.

Students at the school have communicated that they are angry with Gabe Parker for the shooting. In an interesting twist, however, one of the students shot by Gabe Parker said that the school needed to forgive Gabe Parker, since “he was hurting too.”

As the immediate speculation over the shooting begins to die down, questions remain that require answers. Why did Gabe Parker shoot up his school, and what drove him to it?  Why did he shoot the particular students he injured and killed; was there a reason behind his choice of targets, or was it simply a crime of opportunity?

Before the small community of Marshall County, Kentucky can move on, these questions need answers. Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and understanding why this shooting happened may help to prevent other shootings in the future.

For parents, including Gabe Parker’s mother, understanding will also help with their grief.