MASSILLON, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio seventh-grader who brought a gun to school and shot himself inside a restroom just before classes began on Tuesday also had a device in his backpack meant to cause a distraction, police said.
A police car is parked outside Jackson Township Middle School, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018 in Massillon, Ohio. A school official in Ohio says a middle school student apparently shot himself after bringing a gun to school. Police say Jackson Middle School, near Massillon, is on lockdown Tuesday and that the students and staff are safe.(Bob Rossiter/The Canton Repository via AP)
While investigators said the device was not an explosive that would have harmed anyone, they also would not describe it in detail.
The student, who suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound, was being treated at a hospital, but police and school officials said they did not know his condition.
No other students were hurt in the shooting at Jackson Middle School, near Massillon.
It was not immediately clear whether the shooting was intentional or how the boy, who rode the bus to school, managed to sneak the .22-caliber long gun into the building, said Jackson Township Police Chief Mark Brink.
Authorities said they also did not know where the boy got the gun or if anyone else was involved.
Bomb-sniffing dogs searched the building, investigators said.
"They wouldn't tell us what was going on. I thought there was a school shooting. There was a lot of waiting," eighth-grader Alex Garcia told The Independent. "I didn't have any idea there was someone with a gun until I was released."
Parents rushed to the school, which has about 1,400 students, to get their children soon after administrators sent out a notice about the shooting.
Some waited outside the school for hours before the students were allowed to leave.
"That Florida shooting just happened, and you keep thinking about your kid," said Daniela Biller, who has three students at the school.