Sometime after a gunman opened fire Tuesday on students in a Kentucky high school, 15-year-old Bailey Holt grabbed her cell phone and called her mom.
By the time her mother picked up, however, there was no one on the line. Sixteen students were shot in the shooting spree, authorities said, and Bailey was one of two students killed in the shooting.
"Of course, we assume she intended to tell her mother the catastrophic events unfolding," Bailey's aunt, Tracy Tubbs, told reporters Saturday in a press conference. "Unfortunately it was too late, for she was taken from this earth by the time her mother answered the phone."
Fifteen-year-old Preston Ryan Cope was also killed in the shooting. Family and friends said the two teens killed attended the same kindergarten class.
Representatives of the two families spoke at a press conference Saturday to talk about the two high school students who were killed in Tuesday's shooting.
"How great our Lord and savior is, He chose us to have this beautiful creature in our lives for 15 short but magnificent years," Tubbs said. "Our anger is evident, our grief is gut wrenching."
Jackie Reid, principle of Sharpe Elementary School in Benton, Kentucky, spoke on behalf of the Cope family, describing Preston as a young baseball player who also loved to go on trips with his family to historic places.
"In the past year, I believe, they took a trip and Preston got to kind of choose where they went," Reid said. The teen chose "Gettysburg, and places like that."
Bailey loved to wear sweatshirts and black Converse sneakers, family and friends said. Like those on her father's side of the family, they said, she was an avid fan of the University of Louisville Cardinals.
Tubbs and Reid both thanked friends and neighbors in the tight-knit community, whom they said had given the families strength in coping with their loss.
"This act of violence that was intended to inflict incredible pain has done quite the opposite, only reinforcing our family and friends and community to simply say, 'Not today Satan, you picked the wrong community,'" Tubbs said.