MADISON TOWNSHIP, Ohio (AP) — A 14-year-old boy pulled out a gun in a southwestern Ohio school cafeteria on Monday and opened fire, hitting two students, authorities said.
Two other Madison Local Schools students were injured in another way. None of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening, said Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones.
The shooter ran from the school, threw the gun down and was apprehended nearby, authorities said. Jones said the 14-year-old was a student and there was a motive to the shooting which he did not identify.
Students were eating in the cafeteria when the shooting happened around 11:30 a.m., Jones said.
Thirteen-year-old Shelby Kinnin said she heard “a couple of bangs” and realized she was near the shooter.
“I didn’t really know it was gunshots until I looked over and a kid was grabbing his leg and falling over,” she said.
Many people ran from the scene, and the shooter went out a door, she said. She recognized him as a boy who was in a class with her last year, though she wasn’t sure of his name.
Her stepmother, Stephanie Kinnin, said it was unnerving to see emergency responders swarm the school.
“There is no feeling like that in the world,” she said. “But my eyes found the children walking out looking for parents, and that was heartbreaking. Their eyes just told the story.”
The students who were shot were 14 and 15 years old and were taken to a hospital, investigators said. It was unclear how the students who weren’t shot got hurt, Jones said.
“We don’t know if it was from the shooting or from exiting the school or because of the shrapnel from the bullets hitting into that small of an area,” Jones said.
Students who were in the cafeteria at the time said they didn’t immediately recognize the sounds as gunshots. Some students ran outside to a field before being brought back inside.
A sheriff’s deputy stationed in the school had just been in the cafeteria, Jones said.
All other students were safe, according to the school website. The school, which had practiced for such an event, immediately went into lockdown, said district spokeswoman A.J. Huff.
The district was dismissing students from the junior high and senior high schools as quickly as possible following the shooting. Authorities were releasing students in groups of two or three.
The campus is near Middletown, roughly 30 miles north of Cincinnati. State records show enrollment of about 250 junior high and 500 high school students.
The Butler County sheriff asked people to stay away from the school until the scene was cleared, and nearby roads were blocked.
Two medical helicopters were called to the scene.
Associated Press writers Kantele Franko and Andrew Welsh-Huggins in Columbus and John Seewer in Toledo contributed to this report.