HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio school district was closed and all extracurricular activities cancelled as authorities investigated a shooting by a 14-year-old boy that injured four students, including two who were hit by gunfire.
Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones in southwestern Ohio said he’s aware of a motive in Monday’s shooting at Madison Local Schools but isn’t ready to release it.
“It’s a terrible feeling anytime something like that goes down,” Jones said, describing his reaction when word came of the shooting about 11:20 a.m. Monday.
Jones said the 14-year-old was a student and there was a motive to the shooting which he did not identify. The boy was charged preliminarily with two counts of attempted murder, two counts of felonious assault, inducing panic and making terrorist threats, Jones said.
Students were eating in the cafeteria when the shooting happened around 11:30 a.m., Jones said. Afterward, classmates described a chaotic scene where they weren’t sure what was happening at first.
Thirteen-year-old Shelby Kinnin said she heard “a couple of bangs” and realized she was near the shooter.
“I didn’t really know it was gunshots until I looked over and a kid was grabbing his leg and falling over,” she said.
The students who were shot were 14 and 15 years old and were taken to a hospital where they were in stable condition, investigators said. A 14-year-old boy and 14-year-old girl also were injured, though it was unclear how, Jones said.
A sheriff’s deputy stationed in the school had just been in the cafeteria, Jones said.
The suspect apparently stood up, moved toward the door and then began shooting, said Chief Deputy Anthony Dwyer of the Butler County Sheriff’s Office.
All other students were safe, according to the school website. The school, which had practiced for such an event, immediately went into lockdown, said district spokeswoman A.J. Huff.
“We would first like to update everyone on the crisis situation in our district today by thanking our students and staff for immediately reacting to the event in exactly the way we have practiced and planned,” a district statement said late Monday.
School was cancelled Tuesday along with extracurricular events, although staff was expected to report to plan a response once students returned.
Associated Press writers Kantele Franko, Julie Carr Smyth and Andrew Welsh-Huggins in Columbus and John Seewer in Toledo contributed to this report.
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