In what is truly a terrifying ordeal an 8-year-old student brought a knife to a central Minnesota elementary school this morning and began to attack children at random in the halls.
Police Chief Perry Beise confirmed that the victims were 8, 9 and 13. And they all suffered superficial wounds which required stitches in the attack at Pleasantview Elementary in Sauk Rapids. Beise also told the AP that there was no reason for the attack where no one else was hurt.
Schook Superintendent Bruce Watkins confirmed that the boy lashed out at the other student around 7:15 a.m. this morning as students were arriving for class. The incident lasted around 5 minutes and was stopped when an adult in the vicinity intervened.
The Police were called to the scene and by the time the officers arrived, the boy was in an office with a counselor while the 3 injured boys were being treated by the school nurse.
The boy is said to be cooperating with investigators but it’s not yet known why he did this or if the boy had been bullied or suffered from mental health issues.
In an email to parents, school officials said that the parents of the three injured students chose to take their children home or to get additional medical attention on their own.
According to the school’s website, Sauk Rapids is about 70 miles (113 kilometers) northwest of Minneapolis. Pleasantview has 720 students in kindergarten through fifth grade.
All this comes as the whole nation is still reeling from the mass shooting at Parkland Florida where 17 people were murdered by a man who suffers from severe mental issue and the authorities failed to act on that after being called to his residence over 39 times in 7 years, Once even by the would-be shooter saying he was afraid he would do something awful.
Here is more information on the Parkland Shooting via Florida Today:
PARKLAND – No one knows yet what demons were in the head of Nikolas Cruz when he got into a car he had arranged through Uber.
It was just after 2 p.m., a warm and sunny day, the kind of February weather that draws people to Florida from all over the world. Just one hour and forty minutes later, an alert police officer would pick up Cruz as he walked down a street after killing 17 people.
This is how that happened:
Cruz told the Uber driver to take him to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, about 10 to 15 minutes southwest of the home where was living.
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The route to the high school from the home consists of two-lane roads that go past gated, residential neighborhoods, the Riverglades Elementary School on Parkside Drive and then right on what is the first of two roundabouts.
If Cruz was looking out the window during the drive, he might have noticed an equestrian center and dog park to his right before coming to an intersection where Parkland City Hall is located on North University Drive.
From there, the driver would have merged onto the Sawgrass Expressway heading south. Just a couple minutes later, Cruz would be able to gaze down upon Stoneman Douglas to his right. He could view the high school parking lot, tennis courts and a practice field before the Uber driver exited onto Coral Ridge Road and drove past a Walmart Super Center, which sits directly behind Stoneman Douglas.
At 2:19 p.m., the gold compact car let Cruz out at the school.
Since classes were set to end soon, the gates to the parking lots of the sprawling campus of more than 3,000 students were open to allow buses and cars to enter.
Normally, a visitor would need to go through the school’s main entrance on Coral Springs Drive. But the school also had a massive parking lot to the north side of the campus with an entrance from Holmberg Road, far from the main entrance.
It is not clear exactly where Cruz got out of the car. But the short, skinny teenager emerged from the car wearing dark jeans, a burgundy Stoneman Douglas polo shirt and black hat.
According to arrest records, he had a black backpack and carried a black duffel bag, the kind of gear common to students hauling around school books and athletic gear.
But his duffel bag held an AR-15-style rifle, not baseball bats or soccer balls. The backpack was loaded down with a vest with additional magazines for the weapon, a semi-automatic version of the M16 rifle used by the U.S. military.
Faculty and staff knew Cruz’ history of disciplinary problems, and they had been warned to be on the lookout for him. One staff member did see Cruz walking “purposely” toward a three-story building used mostly for freshmen classes that abutted the parking lot and radioed a co-worker to tell him what Cruz was doing.
Within two minutes of Cruz emerging from the car, the shooting started.
Cruz had entered the “1200 building,” used mostly for freshman classes, from its east stairwell near the school’s auditorium, according to law enforcement.
A 15-year-old student told an NBC news affiliate in Miami that he encountered Cruz loading a rifle inside the stairwell. “You’d better get out of here,” Cruz told the student. “Things are going to start getting messy.” The student fled and alerted Aaron Feis, an assistant football coach who also served as a security guard at the school.
Feis was among the 17 people killed, reportedly while shielding three girls from gunfire.
Cruz pulled a fire alarm and students across the campus began heading for the exits.
Then he began firing on people he saw in the hallways.
Cruz also began shooting into rooms 1215, 1216 and 1214, just steps from the stairwell on the building’s first floor, according to arrest records. He then went back and fired into 1216 and 1215 again and then into room 1213. It is unclear how many people were killed or wounded in each room or in the hallways.
He passed by seven other classrooms on the first floor without firing into them.
Hearing the shots, a school staffer issued a “code red” and the school went into lockdown. Some teachers and students began sheltering in classrooms and locking doors while other students begin to flee.
One student, Kelsey Friend, said geography teacher Scott Beigel unlocked his classroom door to allow her and other students in, but was killed when he attempted to lock the students in.
“He will forever be my hero. I will never forget the actions that he took for me and fellow students in the classroom,” a teary Friend told CNN. “I’m alive today because of him.”
On the building’s second floor, Leonnardo Oliveira was in math class and heard the gunfire below, according to the Naples Daily News.
His teacher told Oliveira and his classmates that they needed to lock the door, turn off the lights and huddle in a corner.
Cruz then walked up the staircase at the building’s west end to the second floor where he shot into room 1234, where police say at least one person died. This time, he passed by 10 other classrooms without firing into them.
The locked door likely saved Oliveira’s life.
“He actually tried to open my door,” said Oliveira, 15. “But my door, thank God, it was locked.”
By 2:25, the shooting stopped, according to the Broward County Sheriff’s office. Law enforcement officers say Cruz fired at least 100 shots.
Cruz then made a decision on how to escape the scene. He went back to the stairwell on the building’s east side and climbed to the third floor. There, he abandoned the rifle and the vest with the magazines and ran down the stairs and out of building and joined students fleeing the scene.
Like many of the students, Cruz headed to a nearby Walmart.
He blended in with students heading about a quarter-mile west along Holmberg Road, mostly likely taking what appears to be a well-used, after-school short cut to the Walmart littered with things like a Go Go Squeeze Apple-Cranberry container and an empty Capri Sun Lemonade juice pouch with red straw.
He joined students and walked to the Subway restaurant inside the Walmart. The Subway is tucked off to the left side of the retailer, next to rows of self-checkout aisles and a Regal Nails Salon and Spa.
He ordered a drink.
Meanwhile, back at the school, law enforcement officers were frantically trying to locate the shooter, not knowing that he had already slipped away.
About half an hour after the shooting started, officers broke the window and opened the door to Oliveira’s classroom.
Officers told them to lift their hands and checked all the students, Oliveira said.
On their way out of the school, Oliveira saw the bodies. Among them, his football coach, Feis.
“I talked to him every single day,” Oliveira said. “Now I cannot talk to him because he’s dead.”
Other students were using social media to tell what was happening inside the school.
“My school is being shot up and I am locked inside,” one student posted on Twitter. “I’m f—ing scared right now.”
Others shared videos of terrified students hiding under desks as shots echoed throughout the building. One particularly horrifying video showed police escorting crying students out of a first-floor classroom past bloody bodies both in the classroom and the hall.
“Oh my God!” one sobbing student cried as she left the building.
After getting his drink from Subway, Cruz left the Walmart and began heading northeast on Coral Springs Drive, a perpetually busy commercial strip with numerous retailers. He made the five- to 10-minute walk, which goes under the Sawgrass Expressway, to a McDonald’s in the Shoppes of Heron Lakes.
Cruz stayed at the McDonald’s until 3 p.m., authorities said, and then walked out, passed a Citizens Bank Branch and CVS drug store, and went west on Wyndham Lakes Boulevard South. He walked along the winding sidewalk that borders the numerous gated communities with tonier, large Mediterranean-style homes with rust-colored, tile roofs.
19-year-old Nikolas Cruz is described by his classmates and investigators as a troubled teen with a history of “disturbing” posts on social media. Cruz is charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder in Wednesday’s Florida high school shooting.
He also passed Eagle Ridge Elementary School.
By then, authorities had alerted nearby schools, and the community at large, of an active shooter in the vicinity. The FBI, more police and more emergency personnel arrived at Stoneman Douglas.
Cruz walked maybe about another 1.2 miles west on Wyndham Lakes Boulevard when a police officer saw him at 3:40 p.m., an hour and 15 minutes from when the shootings occurred at Stoneman Douglas.
Coral Springs Police Officer Michael Leonard, cruising the neighborhood, found Cruz walking along a quiet street. Leonard said he stopped Cruz, who surrendered without incident.
Cruz said he was having breathing problems and was taken to the Broward Health North Hospital, where many of the victims were also taken.
After his release from the hospital, he was taken to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office.
The next morning, Cruz was charged with 17 counts of premediated murder.”