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Teacher who disarmed school shooter gets standing ovation during State of the State address

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IDAHO FALLS – During his State of the State Address Monday afternoon, Governor Brad Little recognized a local teacher for her efforts in disarming a school shooter last spring.

“Today, we are joined by Krista Gneiting, the brave teacher who confronted and disarmed a 12-year-old girl at school last May in Rigby. Krista calmly took the gun away from a little girl in crisis, and then held her in her arms until police arrived,” Little said.

The Governor invited Gneiting, an eighth-grade math teacher at Rigby Middle School, to stand as she was recognized. Those in attendance at the Statehouse in Boise gave her a standing ovation. See the crowd response in the video above. (It begins at the 24-minute mark).

RELATED | UPDATE: Two students, one adult custodian shot at Rigby Middle School; news conference at 4 p.m.

Two students and a custodian were injured the morning of May 6 after a 13-year-old female student fired a gun inside Rigby Middle School. The school was placed on lockdown shortly after the first shot was fired.

In an interview with Good Morning America several weeks after the incident, Gneiting outlined how the 5-minute ordeal played out. After lending a hand to the victims, she saw the shooter with the gun in hand. She described how she removed the gun while pulling the girl into a hug.

RELATED | Rigby teacher breaks her silence about shooting: ‘After I got the gun, I just pulled her into a hug’

The shooter, whose name and motive have never been publicly released, was taken into custody when law enforcement arrived. During a press conference later that day, Jefferson County Prosecutor Mark Taylor said she could be charged with three counts of attempted murder, pending an investigation.

There have been no further updates on the case since then.

After recognizing Gneiting, Little used the occasion to call for improvements in behavioral healthcare for Idaho youth.

“As I know Krista can attest, there is a strong connection between safe communities and access to behavioral health resources for Idahoans of all ages,” Little said during his address. “Today, I am proposing we accelerate the implementation of the Behavioral Health Council’s recommendations by investing $50 million to improve behavioral healthcare across Idaho. It is one step of many we will take to help prevent tragedy, improve lives, and make our communities safer.”

RELATED | Superintendent and teachers discuss response to recent shooting and their thoughts on bullying

The May 6 shooting became the first of two gun-related incidents at Rigby Middle School. On Sept. 23, a little more than four months after the shooting, another emotionally distraught 13-year-old girl was taken into custody after a gun was found in her backpack. No shots were fired and no one was injured.

In December, a male student at the same school was suspended after posting a TikTok video threatening there would be another shooting.

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