Mass Shooting at Middle School Prevented by Tip to Police

Chris Jasurek
By Chris Jasurek
December 16, 2018USshare

An Indiana teen broke into a school carrying a gun, engaged police in a gunfight, and then apparently took his own life.

Brandon Clegg, 14, arrived outside Dennis Intermediate School in Richmond, Indiana, around 8 a.m. on Dec. 3. The school–and the 15 other schools in the district—was on lockdown after someone phoned the state police about an impending act of violence.

Clegg reached the school at almost the same time as officers from the Richmond Police Department, the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, and the Indiana State Police, CBS News reported.

Clegg shot out a window and entered the school building. Officer followed him and cornered him in a stairwell. Clegg exchanged shots with the officers, and then took his own life, Dayton Daily News reported.

Clegg lived in Richmond but did not attend Dennis Intermediate.      

The person who called in the warning potentially prevented widespread carnage.

Dennis Intermediate is a middle school, serving about 560 students in the fifth through eighth grades.

If the school had not been on lockdown, the halls would have been filled with students preparing for first period.

“We are very, very grateful to that person who made that call,” State Police Capt. David Bursten said at a post-shooting press conference.

“Had they not made that call, there is no doubt in my mind that we would be having a much different conversation here right now.”

“The fortunate part of this, if there is any, is that no students were injured and no officers and mainly because someone knew something and they said something,” State Police Sgt. John Bowling told CBS News. “They warned police, and police were able to respond, the school was able to follow procedure to help protect students here.”

The Indiana State Police later reported that it was Clegg’s mother, Mary York, who called in the warning about her son’s violent plans.

Richmond Community Schools Superintendent Todd Terrill focused on the fact that no one except the shooter was hurt. “How thankful I am that all of our students are safe; all of our staff members are safe,” he said.

Classes at Dennis Intermediate were canceled for Friday, Dec. 14, and Monday, Dec. 17. Other schools in the district remained in operation.

Both Indiana Gov. Eric J. Holcomb and Congressman-elect Greg Pence issued a statement after the shooting.

“Earlier this morning, I directed the Indiana State Police to work with all local responders at the shooting at Dennis Intermediate School,” Holcomb’s statement read. “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.”

Families are reunited with their children after a shooting
Families are reunited with their children at the Civic Hall Performing Arts Center where students waited after being bussed from Dennis Intermediate School following a shooting in Richmond, Ind., on Dec. 13 2018. (Jordan Kartholl/The Palladium-Item via AP)

Congressman-elect Pence reinforced the point that while the event was a tragedy, the positive takeaway was that none of the middle school students or staff was injured.

“It’s incredibly concerning to learn what unfolded at Dennis Intermediate School this morning in Richmond. I want to thank the local first responders and law enforcement who assisted and continue to monitor the situation to keep our students safe. The safety and well-being of our Hoosier children is our most important priority,” he said.

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