RICHMOND, Ind. – A phoned in tip Thursday morning was credited in preventing what could have been a mass school shooting on Thursday in Richmond, Indiana.
David Snow, mayor of Richmond, made the announcement, “Today is a tragic day in Richmond” after a thwarted mass school shooting at Dennis Intermediate School.
Indiana State Police Sgt. John Bowling announced in a press conference that the Richmond Police Department notified Indiana State Police around 8 a.m. Thursday of a “potential violent act” that may take place at the school. Numerous law enforcement agencies responded to Dennis Intermediate School where officers confronted a male teenage suspect outside of the school.
The suspect is said to have then shot out the glass of an entry door and ran into the school while being pursued by officers. The teenage gunman was cornered in a stairway where he exchanged gunfire with law enforcement before it is believed he took his own life.
“The Richmond Community Schools received the tip, notified the police and placed all of its schools on lock down before the police or the gunman arrived,” Richmond Community Schools spokesperson Bridget Hazelbaker said.
“It is important to emphasize that due to the result of advance notification of the potential for a violent act at the school, the school had initiated its lock down procedure, which clearly prevented injury to students and faculty even though the suspect was able to enter the school,” the Indiana State Police had released in a statement.
Bowling added, “Someone knew something, someone said something,” further emphasizing that the phoned in tip helped prevent a tragedy. He also said it was unknown how many shots were fired or why the 14-year-old suspect targeted the school.
Hazelbaker did confirm that the suspect was a former student of the district but it was unclear at the time what school he did attend.
Students of the school were transported by bus to the nearby Richmond High School after investigators deemed it safe and the the lock down was lifted. Students from Dennis intermediate School were released to parents from the high school after the incident.
The remaining schools in the district remained under lock down and followed the normal release schedule.
Authorities announced to the public that this an ongoing investigation and that details surrounding the shooting will be released as they become clear. They warned that they do not believe there is any further threat to the area or any further cause of concern.
Although it is unclear at this time why the teenage gunman chose to act as he did, authorities think it is an isolated incident.