A girl has been arrested after she shot two students and a custodian at her Idaho school before being disarmed by a teacher.
Officials told a news conference on Thursday that the three are expected to survive their injuries.
Jefferson County Sheriff Steve Anderson said the sixth-grade pupil pulled a handgun from her backpack and fired multiple rounds inside and outside Rigby Middle School in the small city of Rigby, about 95 miles south west of Yellowstone National Park.
A female teacher disarmed the girl and held her until law enforcement arrived and took her into custody.
Authorities say they are investigating the motive for the attack and where the girl got the gun.
Dr Michael Lemon, trauma medical director at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Centre, said the injured adult was treated and released for a bullet wound in an extremity. The bullet went cleanly through the limb, he said.
Both students who were shot are being kept in hospital overnight and one of them might need surgery, Dr Lemon said. One of the students had wounds in two limbs but he said they are both in “fair” condition.
Police were called to the school at around 9.15am local time after students and staff heard gunfire. Multiple law enforcement agencies responded and students were evacuated to a nearby high school to be reunited with their parents.
“Me and my classmate were just in class with our teacher — we were doing work — and then all of a sudden, here was a loud noise and then there were two more loud noises. Then there was screaming,” 12-year-old Iandel Rodriguez said. “Our teacher went to check it out, and he found blood.”
Iandel’s mother Adela Rodriguez said her daughter and son were OK but “still a little shaky” from the shooting as they left the campus.
“Today we had the worst nightmare a school district could encounter. We had a school shooting here at Rigby Middle School,” Jefferson School District Superintendent Chad Martin said. “What we know so far is the shooter has been apprehended. There is no further threat to the students.”
Bonneville County sheriff’s sergeant Bryan Lovell said an investigation was under way.
Rigby Middle School has about 1,500 students in sixth through eighth grades, according to the National Centre for Education Statistics.
“I am praying for the lives and safety of those involved in today’s tragic events,” Governor Brad Little said in a prepared statement. “Thank you to our law enforcement agencies and school leaders for their efforts in responding to the incident.”
Police tape surrounded the middle school, and small evidence markers were placed next to spots of blood on the ground.
Lucy Long, a sixth-grader at Rigby Middle School, told the Post Register newspaper in Idaho Falls that her classroom went into lockdown after they heard gunshots, with lights and computers turned off and students lined up against the wall.
Lucy comforted her friends and began recording on her phone, so police would know what happened if the gunman came in. The audio contained mostly whispers, with one sentence audible. “It’s real,” one student said.
Lucy said she saw blood on the hallway floor when police escorted them out of the classroom.
The president of the Idaho Education Association, Layne McInelly, said the union was ready to provide whatever support school staff, students and the community needs.
“We send positive thoughts to the victims of this tragic incident and hope for their full and rapid recovery. Patience will need to be at a premium while school officials and law enforcement agencies investigate the situation,” Ms McInelly said.