A sixth-grade girl brought a gun to her Idaho middle school, shot and wounded two students and a custodian and was then disarmed by a teacher on Thursday, authorities say.
The three victims were shot in their limbs and were expected to survive, officials said at a news conference.
Jefferson County Sheriff Steve Anderson said 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 145 kilometres south-west of Yellowstone National Park.
A female teacher disarmed the girl and held her until law enforcement officers 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 did not release her name.
Police were called to the school about 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.
“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,” Yandel Rodriguez, 12, said.
“Our teacher went to check it out, and he found blood.”
Adela Rodriguez with her son, Yandel Rodriguez, 12, after they were evacuated following a shooting at the nearby Rigby Middle School on Thursday.
Yandel’s mother, Adela Rodriguez, said they were fine but “still a little shaky” from the shooting as they left the campus.
Both of the students who were shot were in hospital, and one might need surgery, Dr Michael Lemon, trauma medical director at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Centre said.
Still, both students were in fair condition and could be released as early as Friday, he said. One of the students had wounds in two limbs and might have been shot twice, he said.