JACKSON TOWNSHIP, Ohio– Authorities provided an update after a student shot himself at school in Stark County.
The seventh-grade student arrived at Jackson Memorial Middle School by bus at about 7:50 a.m. Tuesday. Jackson Township Police Chief Mark Brink said the student went directly into a school restroom and used a 22-caliber long gun to shoot himself.
The Jackson Township Fire Department took the boy to a hospital. His condition is not known at this time.
Brink said there was one gun, but officers discovered other items in the boy’s backpack.
“We believe what we have found to be just some distractionary-type devices, but nothing anything that would be explosive that would have done harm to others,” Brink said. He said it was not a bomb.
“Something that you could distract people with for whatever reason,” Brink said. “To me, a distraction device is something that’s going to smoke, make a bang and, you know, take your attentions somewhere else.”
Multiple law enforcement sources told the FOX 8 I-Team earlier in the day that there were explosives in the backpack.
Brink said K-9 units searched Jackson Memorial Middle School, but no other devices were found. Investigators do not know the student’s motives, how he got the gun or how he brought it into the school.
The student’s home was also searched.
Jackson Local Schools Superintendent Christopher DiLoreto said there are not metal detectors at the building.
The district’s four elementary schools were closed on Tuesday, and students at the middle school and high school were dismissed early. All Jackson Local Schools extracurricular activities are canceled for the day.
DiLoreto said reuniting students with their parents was a time-consuming process.
“It was imperative that with 1,400 students that we wanted to make sure we got that process right. When we were releasing students, we made sure that we were releasing them to the appropriate adult,” DiLoreto said.