Ft Gibson Students Return To School Day After Shooting

Tuesday, December 7th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

The semi-automatic handgun a 13 year old boy emptied into a group of schoolmates waiting for classes to begin at Fort Gibson Middle School belonged to his father according to Fort Gibson Police Chief Richard Slader.

The boy shot at least 15 rounds but had more ammunition. Fellow students said the 7th grader didn't say anything when classmates greeted him before school Monday. Chief Richard Slater says the 13 year old just went under a tree, pulled out a handgun and began firing.

One student said the boy began yelling "I'm crazy, I'm crazy" as he was shooting. Slader said officers found no more weapons. He said the gun used in the shooting had a high capacity clip. "The gun was purchased at Wal-Mart. The teen gave no warnings, leaving friends and this rural community baffled as to what could have motivated the honor roll student to shoot his schoolmates. Four students were shot Monday morning when the teen opened fire outside Fort Gibson Middle School before classes started. One student suffered bumps and bruises. None of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening.

Students returned to classes Tuesday, many brought by their parents instead of riding school buses. Officers blocked off the middle school, and all students were directed to the back doors of the high school. The students from the middle school gathered for a short assembly in the high school auditorium. They were checked with portable metal detectors and their book bags were searched before they entered. The students were told they would meet in elementary school classrooms Tuesday. After a moment of silence, Principal Greg Phares listed the first names of the four injured and then said, "Let's don't forget Seth." Police and the teen's attorney wouldn't release his name due to his age and because charges had not been filed by prosecutors.

President Clinton told reporters in Washington that investigators from the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms were on the scene in Fort Gibson, a mostly blue-collar town of about 3,500 that is 50 miles southeast of Tulsa.