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Classmate, 13, held in shootings of Oklahoma students

Some of the injured students were transported by ambulance to local hospitals  

4 middle schoolers wounded; motive unknown

December 6, 1999
Web posted at: 1:17 p.m. EST (1817 GMT)

In this story:

'He fired all the rounds'

Status of wounded


FORT GIBSON, Oklahoma (CNN) -- At least four students at a rural Oklahoma middle school were shot Monday by a 13-year-old male classmate who was taken into custody, police said.

A fifth student suffered minor injuries described as bruises.

Police, who said they recovered a 9 mm handgun, knew of no motive for the shootings in Fort Gibson, a town of about 3,500 about 50 miles southeast of Tulsa.

The alleged gunman, who has not been identified by authorities, faces a detention hearing on Monday afternoon.

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'He fired all the rounds'

Superintendent Steve Wilmoth said students were gathered outside before the 8 a.m. start of classes at Fort Gibson Middle School when the suspect, a seventh-grader, "just walked up and opened fire on them."

Wilmoth said the boy began firing shortly after getting out of a car that dropped him off at the school.

"It's my understanding he fired all the rounds" in a 9 mm handgun, said Lt. Tim Brown of the Muskogee County Sheriff's Department.

The boy was subdued by the school safety officer, Wilmoth said. The superintendent said he was not aware of the suspect having any problems at the middle school, which has about 450 students in grades 6, 7 and 8.

A student at the school, Justine Hurst, 13, said of the seventh-grade suspect, "He seemed like a really nice person. I don't know why he would do it." She described the boy as "intelligent" and an "honor student."

A parent who went to the school to pick up his daughter said, "One of the boys who went to church with us did the shooting."

Crime tape cordons off parts of the school  

Status of wounded

The wounded -- three boys and a girl -- were taken to the hospitals in the region; some of them transported by helicopter.

St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa said a 12-year-girl brought there had been shot in the right cheek and was in fair condition.

At Tulsa Regional Medical Center, a spokeswoman said a 12-year-old boy was in fair condition with two gunshot wounds -- one to each arm.

Muskogee Regional Medical Center said two 13-year-old boys had been brought in. One had a gunshot wound to the forearm and one had a gunshot wound to the leg. They were both in stable condition.

Authorities said a fifth student suffered minor injuries but was not shot and not hospitalized.

Lt. Jack Mike, a warden at the Muskogee County Jail, said officers at first thought a frantic 911 call about the shooting was a hoax. The first call came from a student about 7:45 a.m. An adult made the second call.

Wilmoth said help was at the school in a matter of minutes.

The school district's 1,850 students were released early because of the shootings, but Wilmoth said classes would resume Tuesday with counselors on duty.

Are U.S. Schools Safe?

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LASR - Fort Gibson, Oklahoma
National Alliance for Safe Schools
National Center for Education Statistics
  • Statistical analysis report: Violence and Discipline Problems in U.S. Public Schools, 1996-97
National Alliance for Safe Schools
Gun-free Schools Act of 1994

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