Eastern Idaho rallies around 'Rigby Strong' following school shooting - East Idaho News

Eastern Idaho rallies around ‘Rigby Strong’ following school shooting

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RIGBY — The morning after a shooting at Rigby Middle School, eastern Idaho is rallying around the phrase “Rigby Strong,” and reaching out to help a grieving community.

From signs to flowers to the thousands of eastern Idahoans, and many businesses that have expressed a desire to help out.

Pick Me Up, a popular soda shack franchise, has extended its free drink promotion through Friday at their Rigby location in a show of support. Additionally, the soda shack will be accepting donations through cash or check until Saturday. The company says they will match the donations up to $10,000 and give the funds directly to the three shooting victims.

“The entire thing that we focus on … is picking customers up and so that extends to picking the community up,” Pick Me Up Co-owner Zac Martin tells EastIdahoNews.com.

RELATED | School shooter could face attempted murder charges; doctor says condition of victims is an ‘absolute blessing’

Other businesses in the area are helping too. Both Answers, LLC and Tueller Counseling Services also contacted EastIdahoNews.com offering mental health counseling services to those impacted by Thursday’s shooting.

The Upper Valley Child Advocacy Center has also pitched in with help of many members of the community. The center helped gather donations of food and bottles of water for the thousands of students in the district who were waiting to be released to their parents Thursday morning.

Rigby Middle School shooting
Students are seen leaving Rigby Middle School after a school shooting Thursday morning. | Eric Grossarth, EastIdahoNews.com

“The need from the school this morning is tissues,” UVCAC said on a Friday morning Facebook post. “Lots of tissue. We have volunteer runners today, so please bring them to our office and we will get them where they need to go.”

Rigby Middle School stands empty Friday morning, a stark contrast to Thursday in the frantic moments after a 6th-grade girl allegedly opened fire with a handgun at her school. The shooting left two fellow students and a custodian, Jim Wilson, wounded. All three were rushed to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center but are expected to survive. Wilson was released from the hospital Thursday afternoon.

RELATED | Two students, one adult custodian shot at Rigby Middle School

Rigby middle School Flowers
Flowers hang on a fence outside Rigby Middle School Friday morning. | Eric Grossarth, EastIdahoNews.com.

During a news conference, Jefferson County Sheriff Steve Anderson said a teacher at the school heroically disarmed the student and detained her until law enforcement arrived. Multiple parents and students have identified the teacher as Krista Gneiting.

My heart is touched by all the incredible outpouring of love I’ve received,” Gneiting said in a Facebook post in a public group. “Thank you. I don’t want money, I just appreciate the incredible support of Rigby!!! I love my students so much! It is why I teach!! They make my heart happy every every day!!!! All of the staff at Rigby did their part and kept our wonderful children safe! Thank you! I love you all and we will get through this together.”

If anyone has a business that is doing something to support the Rigby community, email news@eastidahonews.com and we’ll create a list below.

  • Teton’s Healthy Hub in Idaho Falls will be donating all proceeds from Saturday to the families impacted by the shooting. They will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., according to Facebook post.
  • Soda Tsunami in Idaho Falls will be donating 15% of all of their Rigby Strong drink of the day this weekend towards Jim Wilson, the janitor wounded in the shooting, according to their Facebook page.
  • Rustic Home Co. in Shelley has a donation jar intended to help those impacted by the shooting