Gabe Parker

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The family of a teen killed in the 2018 shooting at Marshall County High School filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the alleged suspect and his family members. 

The suit, filed in Marshall Circuit Court on behalf of Preston Ryan Cope, claims Gabe Parker's mother and stepfather, Mary and Justin Minyard, failed to keep a Ruger 9mm gun away from the 15-year-old despite knowing he had a "propensity for violence" and an obsession with guns.

In addition, Parker's bedroom contained items "devoted to deadly weapons and violence as well as WWII and the Nazi Regime," the lawsuit alleges. And the teen made online threats in the months before the shooting, according to the suit.

Also, the suit alleges, Parker made references to "the kids (he) may hurt" within six months of the shooting, according to his phone records. He also "spoke openly" about violence and "joining the Mafia" before the shooting, the suit claims.

Parker has been indicted on two counts of murder and 14 counts of assault, after he allegedly opened fire with a handgun at Marshall County High School shortly before 8 a.m. on January 23. 

Bailey Holt and Cope -- both 15-year-old students -- died in the attack.

A separate lawsuit was filed last week by Holt's family and three teens who were injured in the shooting. That suit claims several individuals, from the school superintendent to Parker, failed the shooting victims -- and requests the plaintiffs receive unspecified monetary damages. 

The most recent lawsuit only names Parker and his parents as defendants. It alleges the weapon Parker used was left – with ammunition – unlocked and easily accessible to the teen. His phone contained images, video and other materials related to school shootings, the suit claims.

The suit claims Parker's parents knew or should have known that he had a propensity for violence and had a duty to protect the public from the teen.

The suit is seeking unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.


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Digital Reporter

Jason Riley is a criminal justice reporter for He joined WDRB News in 2013 after 14 years with The Courier-Journal. He graduated from Western Kentucky University. Jason be reached at 502-585-0823 and