Monday, October 09, 2006

AP: Joplin School Shooting

The Kansas City Star on October 9, 2006, has posted a story that "No one injured in middle school shooting" in Joplin, Missouri. Joplin, which has about 40,900 residents, is in southwest Missouri, on the Kansas border about 140 miles south of Kansas City.

Part of the article reads:

No one injured in middle school shooting
Associated Press

Joplin, Mo. - A student armed with an AK-47 assault rifle walked into Memorial Middle School on Monday morning and fired a weapon, but did not hit anyone, police said. No injuries were reported.

The student, who was not identified, pointed the gun at two students and Principal Steve Gilbreth and Assistant Superintendent Steve Doerr and asked them, "not to make me do this," said School Superintendent Jim Simpson.

The 13-year-old male student then raised the gun and fired a shot into the ceiling, breaking a water pipe. After firing the shot, he said again, "Please don't make me do this," Simpson said.

"It was a very close call," Simpson said.

Doerr and Gilbreth persuaded the student to leave the building, where he was confronted by two police officers who had their weapons drawn. The student dropped the rifle and was taken into custody, Simpson said.

Joplin police Officer Curt Farmer said officers found a note in the student's backpack indicating that he had placed an explosive in the school, which has about 700 students. Students in the school were moved to nearby Joplin Memorial Hall, where parents were advised they could take them home.

Simpson said the school will be closed for the day while police search the building.

The student was wearing a makeshift mask, and had been planning an attack for a "long time," Simpson said.

Simpson said authorities did not know whether others were involved in the possible attack.

The shooting happened about 7:45 a.m., 10 minutes before school started.

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