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Rigby students set to return to school next week as suspect is booked into 5C Detention Center

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

RIGBY — Schools in Jefferson County plan to reopen Tuesday after a school shooting at Rigby Middle School wounded three.

Jefferson County School District 251 Superintendent Chad Martin said in a news release that the decision to return to school next week comes after meeting with teachers, staff and mental health professionals. The district closed all schools Friday and classes are canceled Monday following Thursday’s shooting.

“Teachers, school administrators and support staff play an important role in helping students recover from traumatic events,” Martin said. “Simply returning to school promotes the welfare of children and families.”

Having schools closed Monday will allow the district to prepare to bring students back into the classroom.

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Jefferson County Sheriff Steve Anderson sent a detailed news release Friday outlining the events at the middle school. Investigators say a sixth-grade girl who attends Rigby Middle School pulled a handgun from her backpack and began shooting. EastIdahoNews.com is not identifying the alleged shooter, who has been booked into the Five County Detention Center in St. Anthony.

“The suspect exited the building and continued firing but was quickly disarmed and detained by a teacher,” Anderson wrote. “During this time, two students and an adult staff member of the school were injured by gunfire.”

First responders rushed to the area and the school was placed on lockdown. Ambulances with the Idaho Falls Fire Department rushed the three victims — two students and a custodian — to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. The custodian was released from the hospital Thursday and the two other victims are expected to be released soon.

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As tearful parents were reunited with their students at neighboring Rigby High School, both local and federal investigators began piecing together what happened. As the investigation unfolded, the Idaho Falls Police Department and the Regional Bomb Squad searched the suspect’s home in Idaho Falls.

Officials have not released what or if anything was found at the home, but investigators had left the home by Thursday evening.

“I want to thank you for the outpouring of love and support we have received from our community,” Martin said. “The events that took place yesterday are something that every educator and parent fears and hopes never to experience. However, tragedy seems to bring out the good in many and that is definitely the case with our community. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.”

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With the suspect being a juvenile, it’s likely the charges and court case filed against her could be sealed. Jefferson County Prosecutor Mark Taylor said at a news conference Thursday that she could face three counts of attempted murder.

“The investigation is continuing and will take a considerable amount of time as detectives analyze evidence and witness information,” Anderson said. “Criminal charges on the suspect are pending at this time while the Jefferson County Prosecutor’s Office reviews the information at hand.”

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