Skip to content

Illustration by Security Management

School Shooting in Idaho by Sixth Grade Student

A sixth-grade girl is being held in custody after she shot two students and one staff member at her middle school in Rigby, Idaho.

According to law enforcement, the student—whose name has not yet been released—had a handgun in her backpack on 6 May. A little after 9 a.m. local time, she began firing in the hallways, injuring two victims. She then went outside and shot another.

At that point, a female teacher disarmed the student, holding her until authorities arrived and she was taken into custody, the Idaho Statesman reported.  

According to Idaho media organization KTVB, the entire event was caught on the school’s surveillance system.

The Associated Press said that police were called to Rigby Middle School at around 9:15 a.m., responding to students and staff who had heard the shots. Multiple law enforcement agencies answered the call, and students were evacuated to a high school nearby where they were reunited with their parents.

The shooter, in custody at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, is from Idaho Falls, a city near Rigby.

Officials are investigating where and how the girl accessed the firearm, as well as why she attacked the school. Rigby Middle, roughly 95 miles away from Yellowstone National Park, has about 1,500 students.

The AP also reported that the county’s prosecutor announced his office would make a decision on criminal charges after conducting a complete investigation. Charges could include three counts of attempted murder.

At a press conference, authorities said that all three victims—who were shot in their limbs—were expected to survive. The adult, a custodian for the school, was released Thursday. Dr. Michael Lemon, trauma medical director at Eastern Idaho Medical Center, said that the two students would be kept overnight and one might require surgery.

The incident is the state’s second school shooting in its history, the previous one occurring in 1999. At the press conference, school district superintendent Chad Martin said, “This is the worst nightmare a school district could ever face. We prepare for it, but we're never truly ready for it.”

Prior to this shooting, Gun Violence Archive data shows there have been 182 mass shootings in the United States in 2021, resulting in 205 deaths and 728 injured. The three states with the most mass shootings so far are Texas (with 18 shootings), Illinois (17), and Louisiana (15). The three deadliest incidents occurred in Boulder, Colorado, when 10 people died from a 22 March shooting; Indianapolis, Indiana, where the 15 April incident left nine people dead; and in Acworth, Georgia, where eight people were killed in a 16 March shooting. A 14 March attack in Chicago, Illinois, resulted in the most injuries at a shooting so far this year, with 13, however there were only two fatalities.