Freedomroo – Texts reveal students fear after girl pulled gun from her backpack and opened fire at Idaho school

The exchange, between a student at the adjacent Rigby High School and an adult believed to be their mother, were posted by reporter Nate Eaton

Text messages reveal the fear a student felt after a sixth grade girl at Rigby Middle School in Idaho pulled a gun from her backpack and opened fire.

The shooting began around 9am on Thursday and caused teachers and students to flee for their lives. The alleged shooter wounded two students and a janitor who were hit in their extremities and were expected to survive.

Math teacher Krista Turnblom Gneiting, 45, subdued the girl until cops arrived and took her into custody. She has been praised for her heroic act.

Authorities say the motive for the attack and where the girl got the gun are both unclear and are being investigated.  

The text message exchange, which appears to be between a student at the adjacent Rigby High School and an adult believed to be their mother, were posted online by East Idaho News reporter Nate Eaton.

The exchange, between a student at the adjacent Rigby High School and an adult believed to be their mother, were posted by reporter Nate Eaton

People embrace after a school shooting at Rigby Middle School in Rigby, Idaho on Thursday

People embrace after a school shooting at Rigby Middle School in Rigby, Idaho on Thursday

Students embrace after a school shooting at Rigby Middle School in Rigby, Idaho on Thursday

Students embrace after a school shooting at Rigby Middle School in Rigby, Idaho on Thursday

People embrace after a school shooting at Rigby Middle School in Rigby, Idaho on Thursday

People embrace after a school shooting at Rigby Middle School in Rigby, Idaho on Thursday

‘Hey, we just went into lockdown. Not sure if it’s a drill. It doesn’t sound like it,’ the student wrote at 9.17am on Thursday.

The student added: ‘It’s not. Just text me.’

‘Are you ok?’ the mom asked.

The student responded: ‘We’re just moving tables.’

The mom then asked the student if the lockdown was a drill, and the student told her it was not.

‘People voices sounds off too on the voice call thing,’ the student said.

The concerned mom then reminded the student of lessons how to survive a school shooting event.

‘Keep quiet as best you can. 1. Run 2. Hide 3. Fight,’ the mom said. ‘You remember what I told you about running zig zag right?’

The student responded back: ‘Yes. We’re not sure still though, might be a drill. It just didn’t sound like it.’

The mom then told the student that ‘it’s not a drill.’

‘This is real,’ the mom said. ‘Do exactly what you are told. Is there a teacher near you?’

‘Yeah,’ the student said.

The mom then asked the student what classroom they were in during the lockdown.

Math teacher Krista Turnblom Gneiting, 45, subdued the girl until cops arrived and took her into custody

Math teacher Krista Turnblom Gneiting, 45, subdued the girl until cops arrived and took her into custody

‘My first hour,’ the student responded, as the mom pushed back for more details.

‘I don’t know, first floor near the ag building,’ the student said.

The mom then said: ‘I need to know exactly where you are.’

‘It’s in the math hallway I think: 1623,’ the student responded.

The mom then said: ‘I am coming to get you.’

‘Don’t do anything we’re out of lockdown. I don’t want you near the school,’ the student said.

‘I know … I’m just going to be near,’ the concerned mom said.

The student then asked the mom if she had called the cops.

‘I can’t just sit at home. The person is in custody,’ the mom said.

The student then responded, assuming that the shooting had been a male: ‘They got him?’

The mom told the child that the suspect had been taken into custody as the student asked if it had been a shooter.

‘I’m not 100% sure but it sounds like it,’ the mom said.

Custodian Jim Wilson was one of the people shot at Rigby Middle School in Idaho

Custodian Jim Wilson was one of the people shot at Rigby Middle School in Idaho

Two people walk together near the scene of a shooting at an eastern Idaho middle school

Two people walk together near the scene of a shooting at an eastern Idaho middle school

People embrace after a school shooting at Rigby Middle School in Rigby, Idaho on Thursday

People embrace after a school shooting at Rigby Middle School in Rigby, Idaho on Thursday

The student then tells the mother that they believed the shooting happened at Rigby Middle School, which is adjacent to the high school where the student was locked down.

‘Yes, I’m here. Let me know when you are out of lockdown,’ the mom said.

The student responded: ‘Okay it might be for a while. Do you see anything?’

‘Lots of cops,’ the mom said.

The student simply responded: ‘Okay.’

The mother then told the student that she was near a flag pole to pick up them up.

The student continued to question the mother for more details she knew about the shooting.

Eventually, the mother said: ‘I called your dad to let him know you are safe. He gets the alerts from the school so he’ll be worried.’

‘Okay,’ the student said.

The mother said that three people had been injured and that all the middle school students were being taken to the high school.

‘Parents are running, trying to find their kids,’ the mom said. 

Read the text message exchange 

One of the injured students was shot once in an extremity and may require surgery, according to Dr Michael Lemon, the hospital’s trauma medical director. 

The other student was shot twice and hit in two limbs.

‘The fact the injuries are as insignificant as they are – they could be so much worse, so we feel absolutely blessed,’ Lemon said.

Police were called to the school around 9:15am after students and staffers heard gunfire. 

Multiple law enforcement agencies responded, and students were evacuated to a nearby high school to be reunited with their parents.  

Emotional mothers and fathers were seen hugging and embracing their children as they were reunited. 

Rigby Middle School has about 1,500 students in sixth through eighth grades, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

‘I am praying for the lives and safety of those involved in today’s tragic events,’ Idaho Gov 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.’

Prosecutor Mark Taylor told Local News 8 that the shooter could be charged with three counts of attempted murder, depending on the results of the investigation. 

The attack appears to be Idaho’s second school shooting. In 1999, a student at a high school in Notus fired a shotgun several times. 

No one was struck by the gunfire, but one student was injured by ricocheting debris from the first shell.

In 1989, a student at Rigby Junior High pulled a gun, threatened a teacher and students, and took a 14-year-old girl hostage, according to Deseret News. 

Police safely rescued the hostage from a nearby church about an hour later and took the teen into custody. No one was shot in that incident.    

Leave a Reply

Contact us

Give us a call or fill in the form below and we'll contact you. We endeavor to answer all inquiries within 24 hours on business days.