Sixth-grade girl shoots three at Idaho middle school | Idaho


A sixth-grade girl shot two students and a custodian at an Idaho middle school on Thursday before being disarmed by a teacher, authorities said.

The Jefferson county sheriff, Steve Anderson, said the girl had fired multiple rounds inside and outside Rigby middle school in the small city of Rigby, about 95 miles south-west of Yellowstone national park.

The girl lived in nearby Idaho Falls and has been taken into custody, Anderson said. Authorities did not release her name, and it is unclear what motivated the attack. Sixth-grade students in the US are aged 11 or 12.

Mark Taylor, Jefferson county prosecutor, said the girl may face three counts of attempted murder depending on the outcome of the county’s investigation.

The three victims were shot in their extremities and were expected to survive.

Dr Michael Lemon, the trauma medical director at Eastern Idaho regional medical center, said the injured adult had been treated and released for a bullet wound in an extremity. The bullet went cleanly through the limb, he said.

Both of the students who were shot were being held at the hospital overnight, and one of them might need surgery, Lemon added. Both students were in fair condition. One of the students had wounds in two limbs and might have been shot twice, he said.

Police were called to the school around 9.15am after students and staffers heard gunfire. Multiple law enforcement agencies responded, and students were evacuated to a nearby high school to be reunited with their parents.

“Today we had the worst nightmare a school district could encounter,” the Jefferson school district superintendent, Chad Martin, said later in the day.

Martin said schools would be closed districtwide to give students time to be with families, but that counselors would be available starting on Friday morning.

Rigby middle school has about 1,500 students in sixth through eighth grades, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

“I am praying for the lives and safety of those involved in today’s tragic events,” Brad Little, the Idaho governor, said in a statement. “Thank you to our law enforcement agencies and school leaders for their efforts in responding to the incident.”

Police tape surrounded the middle school, and small evidence markers were placed next to spots of blood on the ground. Investigators interviewed faculty and staffers individually.

“Me and my classmate were just in class with our teacher, we were doing work, and then all of a sudden, here was a loud noise and then there were two more loud noises. Then there was screaming,” 12-year-old Yandel Rodriguez said. “Our teacher went to check it out, and he found blood.”

Lucy Long, a sixth-grade student at Rigby middle school, told ABC’s Good Morning America on Friday that the students “heard one gunshot and then right after we heard another”.

“My friends and I were freaking out, and we were hiding in the corner of our classroom,” she said.

One seventh-grade student, Maren King, told a local news station that students initially thought the gunshots were part of a drill.

“Kind of like, ‘Wow, the principal has gotten more creative with these lockdowns, making fake noises and stuff.”

King said students began to panic once the school went under lockdown. “A few kids were crying, some kid was next to me, and I was trying to rub his back, make him feel better.”

Meanwhile, parents reported getting urgent texts from their children as the shooting was taking place and the school went under lockdown.

“My phone started blowing up from my other daughter, and she wanted to know if Maren was OK. And I said: why wouldn’t she be? She’s at school,” Sandy King, Maren’s mother, told a local news station.

“And she said there was a shooting. And I was in a store up the street and I just dropped everything, and I just ran out screaming, there was a shooting at the school. And I drove over here, I was only half a mile from here and I just drove over, jumped out of my car and started running.”

The attack appears to be Idaho’s second school shooting. In 1999, a student at a high school in Notus fired a shotgun several times. No one was struck by the gunfire, but one student was injured by ricocheting debris from the first shell.

In 1989, a student at Rigby junior high pulled a gun, threatened a teacher and students, and took a 14-year-old girl hostage, according to a Deseret News report. Police safely rescued the hostage from a nearby church about an hour later and took the teen into custody. No one was shot in that incident.

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