RIGBY, Idaho — Two students and one adult suffered non-life-threatening injuries during a shooting at Rigby Middle School Thursday morning by a female student shooter.
Parents and children clung to each other walking away from the crime scene that became of the Rigby High School and Middle School campuses. Just a couple of hours previous, they had all experienced something no middle school student should ever experience.
An active shooter in their school.
Around 9:10 a.m. Rigby Middle School locked down, confining students inside their classrooms.
Lacy Long, a sixth grade student, was in school when the shooting happened. She texted her mom when the lockdown started and quickly hid behind her teacher’s desk.
She said that she heard people screaming and arguing. While inside the classroom she heard people banging on the door followed by gunshots and more screaming.
The lockdown lasted for almost an hour before the middle school students started evacuating to the high school just across the parking lot.
“I saw a little bit of blood in the hallway when I was walking past,” Lacy said. “I think there were police officers blocking the hallways and they weren’t letting us see. But I did see a little bit in the hallway. I just saw a little bit of blood and then there was caution tape everywhere.”
As soon as she realized it might be a real lockdown, Lacy started recording from the inside of her classroom. No gunshots can be heard from the video clip but several children’s shushes and a soft “I want to say a prayer” exhibited the fear that was a clear product of the incident.
Seth Long, Lacy’s father, rushed to the school soon after his wife texted him at 9:18 a.m. informing him of the lockdown. Long got to the school at 9:30 a.m.
“I got here before the ambulances and stuff were here,” Long said. “I’ve been here for a while so yeah. So, I’ve watched most of the people who were injured leave. I just saw the custodian, then I saw the girl.”
Parents of students received notification soon after the incident so they could pick up their children. School busses began arriving soon after the students evacuated to take kids home whose parents couldn’t come.
JoLyn Vance, a bus driver for Rigby Schools was among the drivers called in to bus children home. She has two kids at the high school and a stepdaughter who lives across the street from the school.
Her stepdaughter was told to evacuate her home because of the incident.
Vance expressed feelings of initial nervousness when she first got word of the shooting, however she appreciated how the school was handling the situation.
Most people present at the scene agreed that this was very atypical for Rigby, Idaho.
“This is little podunk Rigby, it’s not supposed to happen here,” Vance said.
Some students who were in the hallways when the lockdown was called managed to get out of the school before the doors locked. Around six students ran to Dansie Dental across the street from the campus.
The employees of the dental office said the kids were “scared speechless,” many unable to talk because of their utter fear.
A sixth grade student named Lily heard the gunshots while she was in her English classroom.
“We did the ‘Lock, Lights, out of sight,’” Lily stated. “We heard a lot of ambulances, cop cars, and everyone was banging doors.”
Lily’s mother said she didn’t get notified about the incident from the school until she was already on her way to pick up her daughter.
As parents walked with their kids away from the school, they wore relief on their faces. Julieann Potter, a parent of two middle school students, heard about the shooting from a friend. The school eventually reached out to her informing her and other parents that there had been an incident but students were safe.
Both of Potter’s children safely evacuated and left with her when she came to pick them up.
“And then (I) just kind of waited and figured they were okay because I hadn’t been contacted by the school and they were able to find friends phones and text me and let me know they were fine,” Potter said.
Potter described feeling “utter relief” when she found out her children were safe.
The school set up a system to get as many students home as quickly as they could. Parents went to tents to sign-out their kids and then someone called students out of the high school gym they were waiting.
“I’ve been very impressed with how well the school has kept us updated and contacted us,” Potter said. “They have been really very organized here for the suddenness of it and everything and everybody is very calm and helping and working together.”
The Child Advocacy Center out of Jefferson County will be providing free counseling for anyone who needs it during this time. They are located at 162 N Yellowstone Hwy, Rigby, ID 83442 and can be reached by phone at (208) 745-2612.
This story is ongoing and Scroll will continue to update it as more information becomes available.