It could have been me

Story by Ashley Traylor, News Editor

Story by Blake Sandlin, Assistant Sports Editor


“I would’ve been in the Commons,” Derek Doss, senior at Marshall County High School, said. “God works in mysterious ways.”

Usually, Doss leaves for school around 7:50 a.m., but fortunately Tuesday morning he was delayed arriving to Marshall County High School.

About two weeks ago, Doss and his dad were in a car accident traveling to Alabama, which totaled his dad’s car. The morning of the shooting, his mom was waiting on a maintenance worker to fix their water heater, so she could not drive his dad to their family business, Doss Dentistry.

Little did Doss know, taking his dad to work would remove him from a life-threatening high school shooting.

“That really puts things in perspective,” Doss said. “…I didn’t experience hearing the gunshots or seeing him [the shooter].”

As Doss and his dad were driving down the road to the dentistry, which is located near the school, they witnessed mass chaos erupting.

“I was driving on the road when I saw everyone running and at first, I thought it was a field trip or something because everyone seemed happy,” he said. “I honestly don’t know. But then, we saw like 200 other kids running.”

They pulled into the school parking lot about a minute after the shooter pulled the trigger. In that moment, Doss said they knew something was wrong.

“I saw three baseball players, and I yelled their names because I knew their names,” Doss said. “I told them to come because they were looking lost and scared. As they came, others came too.”

Doss and his dad took some students to safety, while others sprinted from the Commons Area to find protection at the dentistry. Throughout the morning, he said about 20 students were in-and-out, as their parents came to pick them up.

Doss and his dad committed their time to helping those students involved in the shooting.

Two students were injured from gunshot wounds, and one student sprained her knee after being trampled while trying to bolt from the school grounds.

“Dad got towels and applied pressure to the wounds because that’s the only thing to do – because that’s the first thing to do – and he called 911,” Doss said.

While these students were in the midst of tragedy, Doss said there was no screaming or squirming and everyone was calm.

“The four boys that initially came in, my friends, they were composed,” he said. “They were quiet. One threw up. That kid was having a rough time, but the two boys that were shot, they were amazing.”

One of his friends was shot twice in the arm, as well as the leg. Doss’ other friend was standing up, because he was shot in the hip. Luckily, Doss said he will recover from the flesh wound to his hip.

Doss and his dad had open arms for the students seeking help at their dentistry. Despite having a schedule of patient appointments, Doss said his dad did his best to go back and forth between patients and local news media.

“I had many thank me even though there’s no thanks needed to be given,” Doss said. “They needed help and we helped them. I couldn’t imagine the teachers and the first responders and their bravery.”


The Murray State News chronicled the accounts of several Marshall County students in the wake of the shooting. Read their stories below.

Read ‘Front row seat’

Read ‘Looking for an escape’

Read ‘Left without a choice’