school shooting

A shooting shortly after 8 a.m. Thursday at Dennis Intermediate School in Richmond has resulted in the death of the teenage suspect, according to the Indiana State Police. 

No other injuries to students or faculty have been reported.

“As officers arrived, they confronted the teenage suspect outside the school who then reportedly shot out the glass of a locked entry door to the school, and ran inside with police officers in pursuit,” stated Capt. David R. Bursten, ISP chief public information officer.

“The suspect, once in the school, and being pursued exchanged gunfire with police officers. The teenage suspect is deceased the result of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. No officers were injured and it has not been determined if the suspect was wounded by police.” 

The Richmond Community Schools confirmed the incident at 8:39 a.m., saying all buildings were on lockdown. 

“It is important to emphasize that due to the result of advance notification of the potential for a violent act at the school, the school had initiated their lockdown procedure which clearly prevented injury to students and faculty even though the suspect was able to enter the school,” stated Bursten.

Students were later transported to Richmond High School, where parents were instructed to meet their children in groups of 20 once everyone was accounted for. 

All other schools in the district have resumed classes and will be dismissed at their regular times.

Gov. Eric J. Holcomb offered the following statement:

“Earlier this morning, I directed the Indiana State Police to work with all local responders at the shooting at Dennis Intermediate School. We will continue to work with the school and Superintendent Jennifer McCormick to do everything possible to assist the community and support all those impacted by this terrible unfolding situation.” 

Jennifer McCormick, Indiana's superintendent of public instruction, issued the following statement:

“Today a shooting at an Indiana school occurred. State Superintendent Dr. Jennifer McCormick is in contact with the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, the Indiana State Police, and Governor Holcomb and is actively monitoring the situation. We have full confidence in Richmond Community Schools’ Superintendent Todd Terrill and his team, law enforcement, and first responders. The Department stands ready to provide guidance and support, and we will provide further statements as information unfolds.” 

This is not the first high profile school shooting in Indiana this year. May 25, a male student at Noblesville West Middle School asked to be excused from class to use the restroom. When he returned, he had two handguns and he started firing. He shot 13-year-old Ella Whistler in the chest and science teacher Jason Seaman three times, in the abdomen, hip and forearm. Seaman charged the student with the gun, swatted the weapon away and tackled him.

UPDATE NO. 1:

Late Thursday, Richmond Community Schools released the following update:

"Dennis Intermediate School will not be open for students Friday, Dec. 14 and Monday, Dec. 17. All other Richmond Community Schools will be open. The event today at Dennis Intermediate School was an isolated incident. We will have extra law enforcement presence at all buildings. If you plan to keep your children home tomorrow, we understand."

At 12:10 p.m. Friday, Sgt. John Bowling, ISP public information officer, released the following update:

"The investigation into the shooting incident that occurred yesterday morning at Dennis Intermediate School in Richmond remains ongoing. This is expected to be a lengthy investigation and no time frame can be placed on when additional information may be available for release.

"With that thought in mind, it is reasonable to expect investigators have, or will be speaking with anyone who has knowledge of the deceased, as well as interviewing school staff, students and neighbors.

"Detectives and crime scene technicians released the school back to the Richmond School Corporation late this morning. Richmond Community School Superintendent Todd Terrill has announced they will be holding a press conference today at their office located at 300 Hub Etchison Way, at 2 pm. The Indiana State Police will not be participating in this press conference. For any information regarding the resumption of school activities at the Dennis Intermediate School, or other questions related to school activities, please refer to their web site.

"It is important to emphasize that due to the result of advance notification of the potential for a violent act at the school, the school was able to initiate their lockdown procedure yesterday and police were able to have a rapid response, which undoubtedly prevented injury to students and faculty. This is all the information that will be released at this time."

UPDATE NO. 2:

At 4:57 p.m. Friday, Bowling released the following update:

"The Wayne County Coroner, Ron Stevens, has authorized the Indiana State Police to confirm the descendants identity as previously released by the coroner’s office and the preliminary autopsy results.

"The deceased is Brandon Clegg, age 14 of Richmond. The preliminary autopsy results indicate the manner of death was a single self- inflicted gunshot wound. The coroner has not authorized the Indiana State Police to release the location of the gunshot wound. There is no indication of any other gunshot wounds or trauma to Clegg.

"The coroner requested that we emphasize that this is a preliminary autopsy result, and that the final results will not be available for several weeks. This is all the information that the coroner can release at this time, pending the final autopsy results.

"The Indiana State Police can also confirm that the source of the 9-1-1 call yesterday, that alerted authorities and school officials to the imminent danger, was placed by the suspect’s mother, Mary York, age 42 of Richmond. We would also like to remind the public and media that the actual 9-1-1 audio recording is evidence in an ongoing investigation and cannot be released at this time.

"Once the investigation into the incident is completed, it will be forwarded to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office for their review. This is all the information that can be released at this time."

UPDATE NO. 3:

On Monday, Richmond Community Schools released the following update:

"Dennis Intermediate School will be closed on Tuesday, Dec. 18. Mental Health Counseling will be available to students/parents at the west side Boys and Girls Club from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. On Wednesday, Dec. 19, Dennis students will report to RHS Tiernan Center for the day to participate in the previously scheduled end of semester activities. Buses will run normal routes.  Parents who would like to drop their student off at Tiernan Center may do so after 8:15 a.m. at the corner of SW G and SW 2nd near the softball field (Door #16). Normal pick-up and dismissal times will remain the same."

[Editor's note: This is a developing story, and will be updated as more information becomes available.]

 

Rob Burgess, News Editor at NUVO, can be reached by email at rburgess@nuvo.net, by phone at 317-808-4614 or on Twitter @robaburg.

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