Prosecutors want to try school shooting suspect as an adult

Attorney General Paul Phillips (right) speaks to the media Wednesday morning while TBI Special Agent Bob Denney looks on.

JACKSBORO (WATE) — Fifteen-year-old Kenny Bartley is being held in an undisclosed juvenile facility, law enforcement officials said in a Wednesday morning press briefing.

Bartley is accused of shooting and killing a school assistant principal, and wounding two other administrators Tuesday afternoon.

The student faces several charges, District Attorney General Paul Phillips said, but Phillips would only disclose that first degree murder was among the charges expected to be filed.

Prosecutors plan to request that Bartley be tried as an adult.

Assistant principal Ken Bruce was killed in the shooting at Campbell County Comprehensive High School Tuesday afternoon.

Principal Gary Seale was wounded in the lower abdomen. Another assistant principal, Jim Pierce, was shot in the chest.

Both men were flown to UT Medical Center where they underwent surgery Tuesday night. They are listed in serious condition.

The hospital issued a statement Wednesday on behalf of the wives of Pierce and Seale thanking the community for their thoughts and prayers.

The statement added that the wives wish for privacy as they concentrate on the recovery of their husbands.

Phillips said previous reports that a hearing would be held Wednesday were not correct. A special judge from outside Campbell County will need to be found because the Campbell County juvenile judge is too familiar with most of the school officials there.

Bartley could appear before a judge Thursday if arrangements can be made in time, but if not it will have to happen next week. Friday is a state holiday.

Phillips also told the media Wednesday that all law enforcement and school officials have been ordered to not comment on details of the shooting while the investigation continues and before Bartley has been charged.

“We’re now entering a new phase where we have to be very restricted in what we say, because there is a young man who’s being held,” Phillips said. “He’s entitled to a fair trial and we need to follow the ethical rules and release only what information we ethically and lawfully can release.”

Bartley got the gun used in the shooting from his home, Phillips said. But the district attorney general said Bartley’s father would not be charged with any crime.

6 News reporters Don Dare, Erica Estep and Melissa DiPane contributed to this report.

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