Man convicted of 2017 mass shooting receives sentence

BROWNSVILLE, Tenn. — A man convicted for a mass shooting in Tennessee was sentenced Wednesday morning.

In June of 2021, Keyandre Benson was found guilty of a shooting that injured 10 people, some seriously, at a homecoming party for Haywood High School in January of 2017.

“I therefore sentence the defendant to the maximum sentence for each of his crimes. Four years as a standard offender for attempted involuntary manslaughter. Ten years to be served at 100% for employing a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony. Four years each for the ten counts of reckless aggravated assault. Two years for reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon. Six years for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon,” said Judge Clayburn Peeples, with the Haywood County Circuit Court.

District Attorney for the 28th Judicial District, Frederick Agee says justice was served after Benson received the maximum sentence of 62 years.

“Violent case. Mass shooting, something that our office is going to always give a highest priority to. We feel very thankful and blessed that Mr. Benson got 62 years today,” Agee said.

Agee says he’s thankful things didn’t go worse than what they did.

“This was a mass shooting. Ten people were shot, they were injured. We’re lucky that we didn’t have ten people that were murdered,” Agee said.

Benson addressed the court with a letter stating he takes responsibility for what he did, and said he made a mistake.

Wednesday was also the day Benson saw his four-year-old son for the first time in-person.

His mother also wrote a letter to the court begging for her son to be able to come home before the sentencing.

“He did four years, and we ask for forgiveness, to show mercy on his sentencing so he can come home and be a father to his children,” Benson’s mother said.

Benson’s family was noticeably upset by the verdict.

Agee says he hopes this sentencing sent a message.

“We’ve sent a message that mass shooters, that people that commit violent acts will be held accountable,” Agee said.

Peeples says if anyone had died at the party, this would’ve possibly marked the deadliest mass shooting in Tennessee history.

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