Teacher, Custodian Hailed As Heroes After Idaho School Shooting Injures 3
RIGBY, Idaho — Rigby and surrounding communities rallied together in support of three people who were shot. They also credited a teacher and a custodian with saving students’ lives during a shooting at Rigby Middle School.
“When I found out who was involved and who took care of things, I had the thought, of course they did. That’s exactly what they would do,” said Janet Carter, a seventh-grade science teacher.
Community members identified the school custodian as Jim Wilson, who was reportedly shot while trying to protect students.
He was released from the hospital Thursday.
Staff and community members identified the teacher who disarmed the sixth-grade student as Krista Gneiting.
The district says schools will also be closed on Monday. Last we heard the two students who were shot were still in the hospital but are expected to be okay. The custodian who was shot was released yesterday. #ksltv pic.twitter.com/308aGGNo55
— Matt Rascon KSL (@MattRasconKSL) May 7, 2021
“I thought that was really, really awesome of her because she could have just hid in her classroom with her students, but she decided to do something about it,” said Mikayla Dean, a seventh-grade student who was in a different classroom.
Dean was in art class Thursday morning when she heard some noise from outside of class.
A voice came over the intercom, notifying students the school was on lockdown and to get inside a classroom.
It was a familiar scene for students and staff at Rigby Middle School, who have gone through active-shooter drills.
“I think it was a bit of a blessing that we didn’t really know exactly what was happening because I think we would have been a lot more scared,” Dean said.
She didn’t realize it wasn’t a drill until classmates started getting texts from worried parents who were hearing there was an active shooter.
“We didn’t know if it was real or not,” Carter said. “Then we heard sirens and we heard a lot of yelling and we thought, oh my gosh, this is real.”
Carter also remembered hearing “strange” noises coming from the hallways that sounded like sheet metal or thunder echoing through the halls.
She stepped into the hallway to see if she could see anything before the announcement came over the intercom.
“I just had this gut feeling that maybe something wasn’t right,” she said. “Act on your gut feeling right away, instead of just waiting, because that’s what my feeling was, I need to go check on this.”
— Matt Rascon KSL (@MattRasconKSL) May 8, 2021
It wasn’t until later they learned from police that a sixth-grade student had pulled a handgun out of her backpack and started firing shots in the hallway and then outside. She shot two students and the custodian before police said the teacher managed to get the gun away from her and hold her until they arrived.
All three victims were expected to recover.
“We really feel like it was kind of a miracle. It could have been so much worse,” Carter said.
Teachers, parents and students from surrounding communities left messages of love and support with chalk outside of the front entrance as police continued their investigation into why and how the shooting happened.
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