RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - KOLO 8 News Now has confirmed the Washoe County School District Police officer who shot a knife-wielding student Wednesday was not carrying a TASER.
A primary concern on social media since the shooting has been why the officer didn't use a TASER to disable the boy instead of a gun. Our full report on the reasoning is attached to this story.
Reno Police continue to investigate the shooting of the 14-year-old student at Hug High School. Reno Police say the student was shot about 11:30AM Dec. 7, 2016, and taken to a hospital, where he was last announced as being in critical condition. Police are still investigating the circumstances that led to the shooting, but video circulating on social media shows the student wielding two large knives just before the shooting.
After a lockdown that lasted several hours, all other students were released to leave campus.
The officer is on administrative leave. Reno Police are leading the investigation. The student and officer have not been identified.
It is, in general, KOLO's policy not to reveal the names of juveniles who are the focus of police investigations, and therefore, we are not at this point revealing the name being circulated on social media, or that of the man claiming to be his father. But that man's Facebook page indicates the family has hired a lawyer and that the boy is recovering in a hospital and will likely pull through. He also indicates the boy may not stay in this area upon recovery. He writes his son was being bullied and took knives to school because he believed he was going to be jumped, and believed the school knew about it but wasn't planning to do anything about it.
Attorney David Houston confirms he has been retained by the family, saying his own investigator will also be looking into the case, and that there are many facts and falsehoods to be sorted out. He has advised the family not to talk to the media.
Reno Police Chief Jason Soto confirms there was a fight earlier in the day between two students, including the 14-year-old. The 14-year-old then armed himself with two knives and began threatening other students; a police officer shot him once after the student refused to follow the officer's commands, Soto said.
That officer then gave the wounded student first aid. No other students were injured.
Police say many rumors, many inaccurate, are circulating about what led to the shooting. They are urging people to share whatever information, pictures or video they have not on social media, but with Reno Police at 334-COPS or Secret Witness at 322-4900.
STATEMENT FROM WASHOE COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD:
It is our sad duty to inform you that our school family at Procter Hug High School is coping with a shooting that took place on campus today. A student is in the hospital, and a thorough investigation is underway. Reno Police detectives tell us they believe this was an isolated incident, and there is no ongoing security threat at the school.
Although investigators are still gathering information and evidence, we do know that a disturbance was reported shortly before noon which resulted in a shooting. One student was wounded in the incident and was taken by ambulance to a local hospital for treatment. In the course of this incident, safety procedures that are consistently practiced District-wide were followed at both the school level and District level.
Officers with the Washoe County School District (WCSD) School Police Department responded immediately, and per the Regional Officer Protocol, contacted other law enforcement agencies for assistance with the case. These agencies include the Reno Police Department, Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, and the FBI.
Procter Hug High School was immediately placed in a Code Red Lockdown, and officers began a classroom-by-classroom canvass of the school in an effort to find witnesses and any other potential victims in the case. The District reached out to families via the Connect Ed call system with information about the incident, the lockdown, and the fact that the school was secured during the investigation.
Approximately three hours after the incident, the Code Red Lockdown was lifted, and students were released from the school under controlled, safe conditions. Another Connect Ed call was sent to families with information about reunification processes, and students were sent home from school without further incident.
On Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016, classes will be held as usual at Procter Hug High School. Counselors will be available for any student or staff member who needs assistance.
The Washoe County School District is committed to cooperating fully with the ongoing police investigation into the factors that led to this incident. Our hearts go out to the students, staff, families impacted, and we stand ready to assist them in any way needed.