Teacher Who Disarmed 6th Grade Girl Speaks Out

Krista Gneiting talks about Rigby Middle School shooting
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 20, 2021 1:50 AM CDT
Teacher Who Disarmed 6th Grade Girl Speaks Out
Officers leave Rigby Middle School after a shooting in Rigby, Idaho on Thursday, May 6, 2021.   (John Roark /The Idaho Post-Register via AP)

The teacher who disarmed a sixth-grade girl who allegedly shot two students and a custodian at her Idaho middle school is speaking publicly for the first time. After Krista Gneiting heard gunshots on the morning of May 6, the first thing she did was get her students to safety. Then she went to help a student who'd been shot—and that's when she saw the alleged shooter. "It was a little girl and my brain couldn't quite grasp that," she tells ABC News. She approached, put her hand over the gun, and slowly pulled it from the girl's hand; she says the girl didn't fight her. After she had taken it away, Gneiting knew what she had to do.

"I just pulled her into a hug because I thought, this little girl has a mom somewhere that doesn't realize she's having a breakdown and she's hurting people," Gneiting says. She kept embracing the girl as she called 911, and until police arrived, all the while telling her "we're going to get through this together," she says. The girl calmed down and started talking to her, and didn't fight when an officer put her in handcuffs and took her away. It's not clear what charges the girl faces, but all three victims are expected to survive. Gneiting says she hopes the girl is able to get the help she needs. Gneiting's father talked to Fox News earlier this month, and said his daughter told family, "I felt like there was an angel on my shoulder that was telling me what to say and what to do." (More school shooting stories.)

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