An Oklahoma junior high school is reeling this morning after a student committed suicide by shooting himself in the hallway while it was filled with students just before classes started.
The incident occurred in Stillwater, about 70 miles west of Tulsa.
Police Capt. Randy Dickerson said no other students were threatened or in danger when the unidentified student took his own life. But authorities decided to lock down the junior high and the nearby elementary school and then to cancel classes for the day after students were released.
Dickerson told the Stillwater NewsPress that “the hallway was probably full of kids that time of day.”
In a statement sent to parents, Stillwater Junior High said there had been a “single shooting incident” at the school and that staff and students had been moved to a safe location. Parents were told to pick up their children at a nearby shopping center.
An eighth-grade student told the News Press that he saw the shooting.
“I saw him on the ground,” Aaron Veselak said. “There was blood all around his head.
“Everyone thought it was a joke at first,” ninth-grader Ashlyn Lundholm said. “Then I heard people screaming. Then we went to lockdown for 35 to 40 minutes.”
Superintendent Ann Caine said counselors would be available for students.
“It is with a heavy heart that I inform you of a tragic incident at our (school) this morning,” Caine said in a letter to parents. “At 7:50 a.m. one of our students died as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. All other students and staff are safe.”