A sixth-grade girl from Idaho Falls brought a gun to her Rigby middle school, wounded two students and a custodian, and was later disarmed by a teacher on Thursday, May 6, reported the NY Post.
It is a blessing that two students and a custodian were not more seriously injured or killed after being shot.
During a news conference at the Jefferson School District Office, Dr. Michael Lemon, the trauma medical director at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, said three victims sustained non-life-threatening injuries and should recover.
One student was shot once in an extremity and may require surgery, according to Lemon. The other student was allegedly shot twice in both limbs.
According to authorities, the custodian, identified as Jim Wilson, was shot when he stood between the gunman and the two injured students.
He was treated and released for a bullet wound that went through an extremity. An online fundraising campaign has been started to help Wilson pay for his medical expenses.
Authorities say they are investigating the motive for the attack and where the girl acquired the gun.
Police were called to the school around 9:15 a.m. after students and staffers heard gunfire.
According to police, the student allegedly took a handgun from her backpack and shot several rounds inside and outside Rigby Middle School.
Krista Gneiting, a math teacher, was able to apprehend and hold the sixth-grader girl until police arrived.
Lucy Long, a sixth-grader at Rigby Middle School, recounted the ordeal to IdahoEdnew.org, claiming that about 9 a.m., she heard gunshots outside her classroom, followed by loud bangs on the door, and then her classroom was placed in lockdown, with all lights and computers switched off and students forming a line against the classroom wall.
Lucy comforted her friends and began recording on her phone. She hoped to capture some of the events inside the classroom so “police, teachers, and parents would know what happened if something bad happened.”
Lucy said she saw blood on the hallway floor when police escorted them out of the classroom.
Yandel Rodriguez, 12, recalled hearing screams as the shooting unfolded. “Me and my classmate were just in class with our teacher—we were doing work—and then all of a sudden, there was a loud noise and then there were two more loud noises. Then there was screaming,” Yandel said. “Our teacher went to check it out and he found blood.”
Yandel’s mom, Adela Rodriguez, said they were okay but “still a little shaky” from the shooting as they left the campus.
Prosecutor Mark Taylor of Jefferson County said no decisions on criminal charges would be taken before the investigation was finished. They could include three counts of attempted murder.
Middle School students were briefed at Rigby High School, where parents picked them up. Some families embraced in the middle school parking lot. Others held hands as they left the high school within hours of the shootings.
“This is the worst nightmare a school district could face,” said district Superintendent Chad Martin.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, Rigby Middle School has about 1,500 students in sixth through eighth grades.
Because of the shooting, all Friday classes in the Jefferson School District have been canceled, but counselors will be available at Rigby High School from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. On Monday, classes will begin again.
It wasn’t the first time that the Jefferson School District had been impacted by gun violence. The shooting was the second in the small state’s history and the first since 1999.
In February 1989, a 14-year-old male at Rigby Junior High School assaulted a teacher with a handgun and kidnapped a female student. Students were placed on lockdown for around an hour, and the boy was taken into custody without any shots being fired, reported the Post Register at the time.