Four hurt in gun attack by pupil at US school

FOUR PUPILS were shot and wounded at a school in the Midwestern state of Oklahoma yesterday, in the latest instance of gun violence at an American school. A 13-year-old pupil was taken into custody and charged.

According to the school superintendent in the small town of Fort Gibson, south-east of Tulsa, the shootings happened just before 8am, as pupils were waiting to enter for the first classes of the day. "Another student just walked up and opened fire on them," said Steve Wilmoth, who added that it seemed to be "a random thing".

Muskogee County Sheriff's Deputy Terry Cragg said the suspect, being detained in the county jail, had not said anything about the shooting or his motive for allegedly carrying out the attack. "We do not have anything from him at this time," he said. "The suspect still had the weapon in his hand when police arrived. The weapon at that point was emptied."

Two boys were taken to a local hospital and a 12-year-old girl and 13- year-old boy were airlifted to Tulsa. The girl had a bullet wound to her cheek. A spokeswoman for the Fort Gibson medical centre said one of the victims, a boy of 13, was shot in both arms.

Another pupil, Justine Hurst, 13, said they they rushed screaming and crying to the school cafeteria, leaving their backpacks strewn around the entrance.

She said she knew the alleged gunman. "He seemed like a really nice person," she said. "He had a lot of friends."

The view was echoed by other Fort Gibson residents. One parent said: "He's not a problem child. He's a very good kid, a very friendly, polite child."

President Bill Clinton said: "Our prayers are with each of the children and their families and the entire Fort Gibson community. Right now there are no fatalities, only people who are wounded, and we hope and pray it will stay that way."

The Oklahoma Governor, Frank Keating, called on Oklahomans to teach their children the value of human life. "What we do know is one child injured other children and that act of that one child is evil and unforgivable." he said. "That simply should not be permitted in civilised society."

Past school shootings, including last year's mass shooting at Columbine High School. near Denver, Colorado, in which 15 people including the two gunmen died, have mostly involved loners who were shunned by other pupils. Fort Gibson has about 3,500 residents and is far removed from the endemic violence that plagues America's big cities. Strangely, however, several of the school shootings have taken place in similar, relatively affluent, communities.

Yesterday's shooting was the third such attack since the Columbine massacre, and the second in which a pupil was the alleged gunman.

A 15-year-old was charged with wounding six of his fellow pupils at a high school in the town of Coyers, Georgia, in May, and five people were wounded at a Jewish kindergarten north of Los Angeles in August. The presumed gunman, a 37-year-old man belonging to a white supremacist group, was also charged with killing a postman.

All previous school shootings have been seized on by supporters of gun control, to reinforce their argument for stricter laws on weapons possession. Attempts to pass legislation, however, have been repeatedly thwarted by the power of the National Rifle Association, which makes big contributions to congressmen's campaign funds, and by the fear of crime, which encourages people to keep guns for their own protection.

News
Davis says: 'My career has been about filling a niche - there were fewer short actors and fewer roles – but now I'm being offered all kinds of things'
PeopleWarwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
Voices
A Russian hunter at the Medved bear-hunting lodge in Siberia
Save the tigerWildlife charities turn to those who kill animals to help save them
News
i100
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Aladdin is performed at the Tony Awards in New York in June
theatreBrit producer Lythgoe makes kids' musical comedy a Los Angeles hit
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

(Senior) IT Support Engineer - 1st-3rd Line Support

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful IT service provider that has bee...

Wind Farm Civil Design Engineer

£55000 - £65000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Principal Marine Mechanical Engineer

£60000 - £70000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Principle Geotechnical Engineer

£55000 - £65000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Day In a Page

Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

How has your club fared in summer sales?

Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
Warwick Davis: The British actor on Ricky Gervais, how the Harry Potter set became his office, and why he'd like to play a spy

'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

The best swim shorts for men

Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Meet the couple blamed for bringing Lucifer into local politics
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup