Officer wounds Wis. high schooler who refused to surrender handgun
An officer at a high school in Waukesha, Wis., shot and wounded a student who had a gun and pointed it at law enforcement authorities as they were trying to persuade him to hand it over, officials said Monday.
The episode unfolded at Waukesha South High School at 10:17 a.m. after a student informed authorities that another student had a handgun, said Waukesha Police Chief Russell Jack.
As a school resource officer went to the classroom and moved other students to safety, additional law enforcement units were dispatched to the building, he said at a news conference.
Officers tried to talk with the student, a 17-year-old male, but he would not remove his hands from his pockets, and he took the gun from his waistband and pointed it at them, the chief said.
“An officer was forced to discharge his firearm, striking the suspect,” the chief said. It was not clear how many shots were fired.
Terry Schuster, a spokeswoman for the School District of Waukesha, said of the armed student in a telephone interview, “He did not comply to hand over the gun.”
The student was taken to a hospital and was in stable condition, the chief said. No one else was hurt, and investigators were not looking for additional suspects. A police statement said officers provided lifesaving medical treatment to the student.
The officer who fired his gun is an 11-year veteran of the department and appeared to have acted within state law and department policy, Jack said.
The chief and Schuster had no further information about the type of weapon the student had.
“This is clearly a superintendent’s worst nightmare,” said the superintendent of the district, Todd Gray, at the news conference. He said classes would resume Tuesday.
The school is one of the state’s largest, with about 1,200 students in grades nine through 12.
Students were told there was a lockdown drill and to shelter in classrooms. Dismissed early after the building was secured, some of them milled outside the building with their parents, a television station reported.
Kevin Kitslaar, the school principal, said in a statement to parents and guardians that the students and staff members responded quickly, evacuating from the hallway and into a locked classroom.
Some of the students, shaken and tearful, spoke to local news stations. Most declined to give their full names. One student, speaking to WITI-TV of Milwaukee, said she had been in the library when others came in and said there was a gun on campus.
“Then we heard there was a lockdown drill, and we went to the corner,” she said, adding that they had been told to take cover in places where there were no windows. But they could hear bangs, she added.
“We all bonded,” said another student, describing how she and her classmates took shelter in a chemistry class and heard gunshots. “We were all in the situation together.”
Students at Waukesha South High School in Waukesha, Wis., looked for their parents and friends after shots were fired inside the school on Monday. Authorities had confronted an armed student inside a classroom.
Becky Galvan consoled her daughter, Ashley Galvan, a 15-year-old sophomore, with her father, Jose Chavez, outside Waukesha South High School on Monday morning.