Ohio Middle School Placed on Lockdown After Student Shoots Self
Police recovered a .22-caliber rifle, ammo and a “distractionary-device” after a seventh-grader shot himself inside a bathroom at Jackson Memorial Middle School.
An Ohio middle school was placed on lockdown Tuesday morning after a student shot and injured himself in a restroom.
Police said no other students were injured in the shooting at Jackson Memorial Middle School in Massillon. The boy’s condition wasn’t immediately known and he was transported by helicopter to Akron Children’s Hospital after being treated at Mercy Medical Center, reports The Columbus Dispatch.
Jackson Township Police Chief Mark Brink says the student arrived by bus at approximately 7:50 a.m. and went directly into a school restroom where he shot himself with a .22-caliber rifle.
The rifle and ammo were recovered from the scene and a “distractionary-device” was found in the student’s backpack. Authorities described the device as something that would grab a person’s attention by creating smoke or a loud noise. Brink said it was not an explosive and they didn’t find any devices that “would have done harm to others.”
Bomb squad dogs searched the building but did not find any other threats. Authorities were also seen searching the boy’s home and leaving with evidence on Tuesday afternoon.
It is still unknown if the shooting was accidental or intentional or how the student was able to bring the gun into the school undetected.
Jackson Local Schools Superintendent Chris DiLoreto said the district’s four elementary schools were closed and teachers and students at the middle school were dismissed for the day after the lockdown was lifted, according to Fox 8.
Parents and family members gathered outside the school as they anxiously waited for their children to be released.
One student’s father, Don Casey, says he put a piece of armor in his eighth-grader’s backpack over the weekend following last week’s Florida school shooting.
DiLoreto says reuniting students with their parents was a time-consuming process. Students were released in alphabetical order from the gymnasium and parents were asked to bring a photo ID for pickup.
“It was imperative that with 1,400 students that we wanted to make sure we got that process right. When we were releasing students, we made sure that we were releasing them to the appropriate adult,” he said.
Schools will reopen today and counseling and mental health teams will be available, reports News 5 Cleveland. Additional law enforcement personnel will also be present in all schools.
“Our goal is to maintain the normalcy of the school day. Please be sensitive to misinformation circulating through social media,” reads a post on the district’s Facebook page.
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