Parents grateful kids are safe following school shooting in Rigby - East Idaho News

Parents grateful kids are safe following school shooting in Rigby

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Rigby mother Amanda Wells reacting to the shooting during live team coverage Thursday morning. | Rett Nelson,

RIGBY – Parents were shocked to hear about a shooting at Rigby Middle School on Thursday morning.

We now know that two students and an adult custodian were shot by a female student. Law enforcement officers have said the victims are expected to make a full recovery.

However, in the middle of the situation, many parents were frantically trying to find out if their children were OK.

The middle school went into lockdown sometime between 9 and 9:30 a.m.

As an investigation got underway, hundreds of parents were standing outside the west entrance of the middle school, waiting to get their children. Authorities allowed parents to approach the front of Rigby High School next door once it was deemed safe to do so.

Amanda Wells, whose daughter attends Rigby Middle School, says she could hardly believe it when her niece first told her about the lockdown.

“She sent a group text to me and my husband, saying, ‘There’s a real lockdown. I’m OK, and I love you both,'” Wells says. “My heart started pounding, I got shaky and started freaking out.”

While Wells waited and before she could pick her up, she saw her daughter. The contact was brief, and her daughter didn’t say anything about what was going on, but Wells says she appeared to be fine.

Despite a text from the school district saying all students were safe, rumors started to fly on social media, and another mother, who didn’t give her name to, says she immediately thought the worst.

“I was at work, and my coworker had to drive me here. My boss wouldn’t let me go. I was having a panic attack. It was pretty rough,” she said at the time. “It’s terrifying, and I’m sure he’s terrified right now. I’m still freaking out because I haven’t heard from him. I don’t know what he’s feeling or where he’s at, and it’s scary.”


Her husband is a truck driver and was parked in Swan Valley when he heard the news. He booked it back to Rigby to get his son.

“I tried texting and calling him, but he didn’t answer. I don’t know if it’s the protocol (to) not let them use their phone or what?” he says. “If they’re not letting kids use their phone, then you got a lot of parents out here that are probably worried.”

Each student has since been reunited with their parents, and everyone is grateful to law enforcement for keeping their children safe.

Despite that, it’s a day that none of them will soon forget.

Rigby Middle School sixth-grader Lucy Long retraced the ordeal to She said she heard gunshots near her classroom around 9 a.m., followed by loud bangs on the door. Someone locked the door and turned out the lights, while students hid against the wall.

Long flashed an audio recording, hoping to capture some of what happened inside the classroom so “police, teachers and parents would know what happened if something bad happened.”

In the end, the unnamed mother was just grateful to take her son home.

“I’m going to take him home and snuggle,” the mother said. “You watch the national news and see things like this, but you don’t ever think it’s going to happen to you.”

Her husband says he never would’ve imagined something like this would happen here.

“It’s not something normal that goes on here. You hear of people’s cows getting out or sheep running down the middle of Main Street, but you don’t hear about a school shooting at all,” he says.

The last report of something like this happening in Rigby was in 1989. A 14-year-old boy was arrested after he pulled a gun at Rigby Junior High School, threatened a teacher and students and took a 14-year-old girl hostage, according to the Deseret News.

More information about the shooting is expected to be released at a news conference at 4 p.m.