A sixth-grade girl pulled out a handgun from her backpack and shot three people in Idaho, injuring but not killing them, officials said during a press conference about the latest of several school shootings this year.
A teacher at Rigby Middle School, in a small town less than 100 miles southwest of Yellowstone National Park, disarmed the girl, authorities say. The incident remains under investigation, with the alleged motivation unclear.
In a press conference on Thursday, Jefferson County Sheriff Steven Anderson told reporters that at about 8:09 a.m. that morning, the student grabbed a handgun from a backpack and fired multiple rounds inside and outside, beginning in the hallway. She shot two students and a school employee, who sustained non-life threatening injuries, the sheriff said. Two victims were inside the school, and one was outside. Authorities did not release the name of the girl, who was detained by the female teacher who disarmed her until law enforcement took her into custody.
Officials did not release or confirm the names of the people involved. The shooter, a resident of Idaho Falls, was a sixth-grade student at the school but not in the teacher’s class, said Anderson. It was under investigation if the victims were targeted. The sheriff said investigators did not know where the suspect got the handgun.
Dr. Michael Lemon, the trauma medical director of the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, told reporters that the adult victim was shot once through an extremity but was able to be released after being evaluated and treated in the emergency room. One of the children was shot once in an extremity and may require surgery in the future. The other was “potentially” shot twice and sustained two injuries: one to an upper extremity, and the other to a lower extremity. He said both kids were in stable condition, were going to be help overnight for monitoring, and potentially dismissed the following day.
He called it an “absolute blessing” that no one died.
“This is the worst nightmare a school district could ever face,” said Chad Martin, the school’s superintendent told a local ABC outlet. “We prepare for it, but we’re never truly ready for it. Our hearts and our prayers go out to the victims and their families and all those involved.”
Lead Jefferson County prosecutor Mark Taylor said that they would not be making prosecuting decisions until the investigation is finished but said charges could include three counts of attempted murder.
According to Education Week’s tracker, it was the seventh school shooting this year.
[Screengrab via KTVB]
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