RENO, Nev. (AP) — A campus police officer shot a knife-wielding student at a Nevada high school on Wednesday during a confrontation witnessed by dozens of other students, Reno police said.
The 14-year-old boy was reported in critical condition Wednesday night at a Reno hospital, Police Chief Jason Soto said.
Police had declined to confirm reports immediately after the 11:30 a.m. shooting that the teen had been armed with a knife.
But Soto told reporters at a news conference at police headquarters Wednesday night that he was “armed with at least one knife and threatening other students” during a fight at the high school in a working class neighborhood on the city’s north side.
The armed student failed to comply with the school police officer’s verbal commands to drop the knife, and the officer ultimately fired his service weapon, “striking the student and … stopping the threat,” Soto said.
“Once the threat was stopped, the officer immediately began to provide medical aid to the student until emergency medical assistance arrived,” Soto said. He refused to take any questions.
Hug High School was placed under lockdown and the 14-year-old was taken to Renown Regional Medical Center where he was in critical condition with a gunshot wound. The lockdown was lifted by midafternoon and students were released to their parents.
A regional officer-involved shooting team led by Reno police interviewed the campus officer, who was placed on routine paid administrative leave, Reno police officer Tim Broadway said.
Broadway told reporters earlier Wednesday that more than 40 students witnessed the incident, including many who shot cellphone video that police want to see before the public.
“There’s multiple videos out there,” said Broadway, the department spokesman. “There’s some very disturbing video out there. But there are other events that led up to this incident, so please don’t react to those.”
School district officials said classes would resume as scheduled on Thursday.
“Counselors will be available for any student or staff member who needs assistance,” School Superintendent Traci Davis said in a statement.
Nevada Department of Public Safety Director James Wright said earlier Wednesday the student was 16 years old. Soto corrected the age but did not release his name.
Broadway said the parents of the student who was shot had been notified. He said reports that another student had been stabbed before the shooting weren’t true.
The Reno Gazette-Journal reported that it reviewed video showing a student wielding a knife before being wounded.
A student, Robert Barragan, told the Gazette-Journal that two male students were fighting outside the school library before a police officer shot the knife-wielding student in the shoulder.
Hug High opened in 1968 and is named for Proctor Ralph Hug Jr., a former teacher, athletic coach and Washoe County School superintendent who served as a state senator and a federal judge.
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