Juvenile shot in Weleetka; three taken into custody

Saturday, April 21st 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

WELEETKA, Okla. (AP) _ A 17-year-old may have been trying to stop a younger classmate from bringing a gun to school when the younger teen allegedly shot him Friday afternoon, authorities said.

The older teen was taken to the Henryetta Medical Center with a gunshot wound to the buttocks. His injury was not considered life threatening, officials said.

``We eventually took the suspect into custody at a nearby residence and recovered the weapon, along with a 9 mm rifle,'' Police Chief James Dutton said.

Neither boys' names were released.

Two other boys who were at the scene of the shooting also were taken into custody. Officers were investigating the roles of those boys, age 15 and 16.

The boys were leaving gym class around 2:30 p.m. when one of the students allegedly went home to get a weapon, Weleetka Superintendent Dan Parrish said. He lived three blocks from the school, Parrish said.

``Other kids went after him to try to stop him,'' Parrish said.

Police surrounded a house where the 14-year-old was hiding after they received a report that the shooting had been at the school, officials said. The boy surrendered, officials said.

The victim had managed to get back to the school to ask for help, and the school was immediately locked down, Parrish said. Teachers scrambled to lock the doors and move students away from the windows.

Police had the shooter in custody about 20 minutes after the lockdown, Parrish said. Parents started streaming to the school.

School officials aren't sure what prompted the shooting. They will meet at 6 p.m. Sunday to arrange for a counselor, Parrish said.

``There were a lot of upset students, and staff members, as you might guess,'' Parrish said.

Weleetka is located in Okfuskee County, about 60 miles southwest of Tulsa.