Rigby, ID

Rigby hero teacher disarms student shooter and hugs child until police arrive

Amy Christie

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A middle school teacher from the small town of Rigby took the gun away from a sixth grader who had opened fire earlier. The teacher didn’t stop there, though. After taking away the gun she hugged the child until the officers came on the scene.

Krista Gneiting, the teacher who courageously ended the shooting that took place at Rigby Middle School earlier this month, shared how it all happened and added moving details to the event that has affected many students and their families.

The teacher revealed how she enveloped the child in a hug when she realized what the situation was.

How did it all come about?

Gneiting had an interview with ABC's "Good Morning America" regarding the May 6 shooting when a sixth-grade girls reportedly started firing in a school hallway. Two students and a janitor got shot in the incident.

Fortunately the wounds for all three victims were not life-threatening.

The teacher went into protective mode

She related how she told the students they had to get out of the building as soon as possible.

“So, I just told my students, 'We are going to leave, we're going to run to the high school, you're going to run hard, you're not going to look back, and now is the time to get up and go’,” the teacher recalled during the interview for the news outlet.

When she came out in the hallway the teacher suddenly saw the young girl who had started the incident.

“It was a little girl, and my brain couldn't quite grasp that. I just knew when I saw that gun, I had to get the gun.” So, she went closer cautiously and asked quietly, “Are you the shooter?”

“I just walked up to her and I put my hand over her hand, I just slowly pulled the gun out of her hand and she allowed me to. She didn't give it to me, but she didn't fight. And then after I got the gun, I just pulled her into a hug because I thought, 'This little girl has a mom somewhere that doesn't realize she's having a breakdown and she's hurting people, “ the teacher remembers.

While hugging the child Gneiting also called 911.

“After a while, the girl started talking to me and I could tell she was very unhappy. I just kept hugging her and loving her and trying to let her know that we're going to get through this together,” the teacher adds about the terrible event.

When the Rigby police officers arrived on the scene, they could take the girl in custody without any problems. “The officer was very gentle and very kind, and he just went ahead and took her and put her in the police car.”

“She is just barely starting in life and she just needs some help. Everybody makes mistakes. I think we need to make sure we get her help and get her back into where she loves herself so that she can function in society,” the Rigby teacher added.

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Amy Christie is a passionate writer and journalist, always striving to bring out the positive and create meaningful connections.

Dallas, TX
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