Gunman kills football coach at US high school

Click to follow

A gunman killed a football coach at a high school early today in front of students and was taken into police custody shortly afterward, authorities said. No one else was injured.

The gunman shot Aplington-Parkersburg High School coach Ed Thomas at about 8 a.m. with about 50 students in the school, including several in the weight room with Thomas at the time. School was not in session.

Thomas was airlifted to a hospital and died, his family said in a statement.

The gunman was being held in Butler County Jail.

Authorities would not say if the gunman was a student at the school. But school district board secretary Sue Miller said she had heard he was not.

The district's superintendent and a guidance counselor were meeting with students who were in the weight room at the time of the shooting.

"No kids were hurt, we're thankful for that," Superintendent Jon Thompson told KOEL radio. "They did witness this and so we have counselors at the site to talk with the kids."

The school is in Parkersburg, about 80 miles (130 kilometers) northeast of Des Moines.

Thomas had been a coach at the school for more than 30 seasons and was one of the most well-known high school football coaches in the Midwestern state. He was honored as the NFL High School Coach of the Year in 2005, and four of his former players are current professional players in the NFL.