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 were shot in their extremities and were expected to survive, officials said at a news conference.
The active shooting incident began at Rigby Middle School in Rigby, Idaho, around 9am Thursday morning when the shooter opened fire, causing teachers and students to flee for their lives.
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 southwest of Yellowstone National Park.
Students react after a school shooting at Rigby Middle School in Rigby, Idaho on Thursday
People embrace after a school shooting at Rigby Middle School on Thursday
Students walk past police tape after a school shooting at Rigby Middle School in Idaho
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.
She is from the nearby city of Idaho Falls, Anderson said. He didn’t release her name.
According to EastIdahoNews.com, the suspect was first incorrectly identified by law enforcement as being male.
People embrace outside the high school where people were evacuated after a shooting
Children stand outside of the high school where people were evacuated after the shooting
Alela Rodriguez, left, walks with her son, Yandel Rodriguez, 12, at the high school on Thursday
Dr. Michael Lemon, trauma medical director at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, said the injured adult was 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 said.
Still, both students were in fair condition. One of the students had wounds in two limbs and might have been shot twice, he said.
The age and identity of both the suspect and victims have not been revealed.
DailyMail.com has reached out to the Sheriff’s Office for more information.
A woman and children sit together at the high school where people were evacuated
Authorities say they’re investigating the motive for the attack on Thursday
Alicia Willis walks away with her son at a high school where people were evacuated
Students and teachers were evacuated from the middle school to the high school with parents being told to collect their children from there.
Emotional parents and children were seen hugging and embracing as they were reunited at the high school.
Any students not collected would be sent home by bus, the district 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.
Police tape marks a line outside Rigby Middle School following the shooting
Police stand with a youth outside Rigby Middle School following the shooting on Thursday
A sixth-grade girl brought a gun to school, shot and wounded two students and a custodian
A victim appears to be taken into an ambulance following Thursday’s shooting
‘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.
‘Today we had the worst nightmare a school district could encounter,’ Jefferson School District Superintendent Chad Martin said.
Martin said schools would be closed district-wide to give students time to be with families, but that counselors would be available starting 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,’ Gov. Brad Little said in a prepared 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.
Students embrace after a school shooting at Rigby Middle School in Rigby, Idaho on Thursday
Jefferson County Sheriff Steve Anderson said the shooter is from Idaho Falls
Lucy Long, a sixth-grader at Rigby Middle School, told the Post Register newspaper in Idaho Falls that her classroom went into lockdown after they heard gunshots, with lights and computers turned off and students lined up against the wall.
Lucy comforted her friends and began recording on her phone, so police would know what happened if the shooter came in.
The audio contained mostly whispers, with one sentence audible: ‘It’s real,’ one student said.
Lucy said she saw blood on the hallway floor when police escorted them out of the classroom.
Idaho Governor Brad Little said he was ‘praying’ for all those involved.
‘I am praying for the lives and safety of those involved in today’s tragic events,’ he tweeted.
‘Thank you to our law enforcement agencies and school leaders for their efforts in responding to the incident. I am staying updated on the situation.’
Prosecutor Mark Taylor told Local News 8 that the shooter could be charged with three counts of attempted murder, depending on the results of the investigation.
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.
Jefferson County Sheriff Steve Anderson addresses the media during a press conference
Meanwhile in Albuquerque a middle school was plunged into lockdown after a teacher reported seeing a student carrying a gun into the building.
There were no shots fired and no injuries reported in that incident. Police say that the suspected gun was actually a cell phone, according to KOB 4.
Thursday’s incident marks the latest in a string of mass shootings across America in recent months.
Back on March 16, Robert Aaron Long, 21, is accused of killing eight people – six of them Asian women – in a series of attacks at three Atlanta spas.
The following week, gunman Ahmad Alissa then allegedly shot dead ten people including a police officer, in a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado.
Biden Executive Actions on Guns
- Crackdown on ‘ghost guns,’ which are built from kits
- Tighten requirements on pistol braces that allow for more accurate shooting
- Department of Justice will publish ‘red flag’ legislation for the states
- Investment in evidence-based community violence interventions
- DoJ will issue an annual report on gun trafficking
The next day, a shooting at a Southern California office building left four people dead, including a child.
Eight people were shot and killed at the FedEx Ground facility in Indianapolis earlier this month.
According to EdWeek, there have been six school shootings in 2021 prior to Thursday’s attack.
In total, these incidents left two school employees and one student dead.
Since 2018, there have been 65 shootings in schools across the country.
One of the deadliest school shootings in American history was the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in 2012.
Gunman Adam Lanza entered the school in Newtown, Connecticut, shooting 27 dead inside and injuring many more.
In light of this year’s spate in gun violence, Joe Biden has unveiled a series of executive actions designed to curb gun violence following the string of shootings.
The six actions include: a crackdown on the proliferation of ‘ghost guns,’ which are built from kits; tighten requirements on pistol braces that allow for more accurate shooting; the Department of Justice will publish ‘red flag’ legislation for the states; invest in evidence-based community violence interventions; and DoJ will issue an annual report on gun trafficking.
Biden said mass shootings are a ‘public health crisis’ and argued he was not trying to impinge on the Second Amendment – a claim gun rights groups and Republicans have made against the introduction gun control laws.