BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A sixth-grade girl brought a gun to her Idaho middle school, shot and wounded two students and a custodian and then was disarmed by a teacher Thursday, authorities said.
The three victims were shot in their limbs and expected to survive, officials said at a news conference. Jefferson County Sheriff Steve Anderson says the girl pulled a handgun from her backpack and fired multiple rounds inside and outside Rigby Middle School in the small city of Rigby, about 95 miles (145 kilometers) southwest of Yellowstone National Park.
A female teacher disarmed the girl and held her until law enforcement arrived and took her into custody, authorities said, without giving other details. Authorities say they're investigating the motive for the attack and where the girl got the gun.
“We don't have a lot of details at this time of ‘why' — that is being investigated,” Anderson said. “We're following all leads.”
The girl is from the nearby city of Idaho Falls, Anderson said. He didn't release her name.
Police were called to the school around 9:15 a.m. 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.
“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.”
Yandel’s mom, Adela Rodriguez, said they were OK but “still a little shaky” from the shooting as they left the campus.
Both of the students who were shot were being held at the hospital, and one of them might need surgery, said Dr. Michael Lemon, trauma medical director at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.
Still, both students were in fair condition and could be released as early as Friday. One of the students had wounds in two limbs and might have been shot twice, he said.
“It’s an absolute blessing” that they weren’t hurt worse, Lemon said. The adult was treated and released for a bullet wound that went through an extremity, the doctor said.
Schools would be closed districtwide to give students time to be with their families, and counselors would be available starting Friday, said Jefferson School District Superintendent Chad Martin.
“This is the worst nightmare a school district could ever face. We prepare for it," Martin said, “but you're never truly prepared.”
All contents © copyright 2021 Associated Press. All rights reserved