The teacher credited for disarming a sixth-grade shooting suspect at Rigby Middle School earlier this month shared details of the ordeal with Good Morning America in an interview that aired Wednesday.
“I just slowly pulled the gun out of her hand, and she allowed me to,” Krista Gneiting told ABC News. “She didn’t fight. She didn’t give it to me, but she didn’t fight.”
Gneiting, a math teacher at the school, said she heard a gunshot down the hall while preparing students for their final exam on May 6. After seeing Jim Wilson, the school’s custodian, lying on the floor, she closed the door and heard two more shots.
“So I just told my students, ‘We are going to leave, we’re going to run to the high school, you’re going to run hard, you’re not going to look back and now is the time to get up and go,'” Gneiting told ABC News.
Police say a sixth-grade female student pulled a pistol from her backpack and shot two other students and a custodian at the school. All three victims sustained non-critical injuries and have been treated and released from the hospital.
Gneiting retraced her experience up to the point of disarming the sixth-grader.
While helping one of the students who had been shot, Gneiting said she saw the suspected shooter holding a gun.
“It was a little girl, and my brain couldn’t quite grasp that,” Gneiting said. “I just knew when I saw that gun, I had to get the gun.”
Gneiting said she asked the girl if she was the shooter, approached her and “just slowly pulled the gun out of her hand.”
Then, she embraced the student.
“After I got the gun, I just pulled her into a hug,” Gneiting said. She held the student until police arrived.
“I could just tell she was very unhappy and I just kept hugging her and loving her and trying to let her know that we’re going to get through this together,” she said.
Gneiting asked people to forgive the suspected shooter.
“She is just barely starting in life and she just needs some help. Everybody makes mistakes,” Gneiting said. “I think we need to make sure we get her help and get her back into where she loves herself so that she can function in society.”
Police have confirmed that the student was a sixth-grade female who’s enrolled at the school, yet Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Taylor last week declined to share more details about the shooting.
According to ABC, the suspected shooter is “still in custody and has been charged.” Taylor’s office did not respond Wednesday to questions about the charges.