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Texas officers, school administrators stop student who brought gun to school intending to ‘hurt people’

Administrators were applauded for confining the student to an office until Mesquite Police Department officers arrived; the officers shot the student, grazing his leg

By Ken Miller
Associated Press

MESQUITE, Texas — A student who carried a handgun into school in Texas had meant to harm others before three police officers fired 19 times at him, leaving him with a minor leg wound, police said Wednesday.

“He brought a gun to school to hurt people,” Mesquite police Lt. Brandon Ricketts said. “He was there to hurt people is what he was telling witnesses” who later spoke to police.

There were no other injuries and Ricketts praised administrators at Pioneer Technology and Arts Academy for doing “an outstanding job” of containing the teenager inside an office until police arrived.

Three officers who responded to the call from an administrator Monday morning found the boy alone in the office. There was no indication the teenager fired the gun, but he refused to come out before the three officers fired a total of 19 shots through an open door, Ricketts said.

The 16-year-old boy was not seriously wounded when he was either grazed in the leg by a bullet or struck by shrapnel, Ricketts said.

Ricketts declined to say who the boy had been targeting, saying that is part of the ongoing investigation. What prompted the officers to fire also is under investigation and isn’t being released, Ricketts said.

The officers are on paid leave pending the results of the investigation by Mesquite Police and Dallas County prosecutors.

The teenager was treated at a hospital for his wounds and is now in custody of Dallas County juvenile authorities on a charge of carrying a firearm onto a school campus, Ricketts said.

A statement from the charter school said students and staff returned to campus Tuesday with counselors available to all students, staff and parents. The school also said it is installing metal detectors at entrances and bringing more security officers onto campus in the eastern Dallas suburb. They’ll also host a parent meeting on Thursday to discuss safety procedures and answer questions.