Unknown object shot at bus carrying Plummer-Worley students after football game

A bus carrying Lakeside High School football players was shot at on Friday night while leaving the North Idaho town of Clark Fork, Plummer-Worley Superintendent Russ Mitchell said in a Facebook post on Friday.

No students were seriously hurt, Mitchell said. Local police had not released further details of the incident as of Saturday morning. The FBI is assisting the Bonner County Sheriff’s Office and the Coeur d’ Alene tribe with the investigation, a bureau spokeswoman said.

In his Facebook post, Mitchell said “some kind of projectile had been shot through one side of the bus,” less than a mile away from the Clark Fork school. In an interview Saturday, Mitchell said it was still unclear whether an object had been shot from a gun, hurled at the bus or projected by some other means. The Lakeside football team was just starting a two-hour drive back to Plummer, after beating Clark Fork 42-28.

“Something with a great deal of velocity came through those windows,” Mitchell said. “Let there be no doubt.”

Lakeside junior and lineman Orion Taylor had just texted his grandmother to let her know he was headed home when he heard the sound of shattering glass through the YouTube video playing in his earbuds.

He looked up to find a hole in the window next to him.

At first, Taylor thought a rock might have come through the window. But another window was shattered on the other side of the bus. And a sports bag filled with football equipment had a warm scuff mark on it, Taylor said, as if it had been grazed by a bullet.

“We were like, ‘No, that’s not a rock,'” Taylor said. “Someone shot a rifle at us.”

Police have not confirmed what type of projectile came through the bus or other details of the incident.  The Bonner County Sheriff’s Office did not respond to a call from Idaho Education News on Saturday morning.

“Until authorities have investigated this incident, it is unknown who or what ultimately happened,” Mitchell said in his Facebook post.

In comments on that post, the discussion turned to racism and “ongoing hate.”

Lakeside Junior/Senior High School is located on the Coeur d’Alene Indian Reservation, and 60 percent of the 117 or so students are Native American. Clark Fork High School, with around 130 students, is more than 90 percent white.

Taylor doesn’t think he was specifically targeted, though he said he would have been hit if he’d been sitting up a little straighter in his seat.

“It might have been a race thing, or might have just been a sore loser,” Taylor said.

Mitchell and Lake Pend Oreille School District Superintendent Thomas Albertson both said they were not aware of any animosity between the teams or districts following Friday’s game.

“We are so thankful that only minor injuries occurred to one student on the bus. This is a very serious and inexcusable event,” Albertson said. “This is not what Clark Fork High School nor the town of Clark Fork stands for.”

Taylor’s football team has about 20 students, he said, but some players rode home with their families after Friday’s game instead of taking the bus. The incident happened around 10 or 11 p.m., he figures, and players spent the next hour or so talking to police. Afterward the team got something to eat, and played music on the drive home to calm their nerves.

“We were pretty shook up,” he said.

Sami Edge

About Sami Edge

Reporter Sami Edge, a University of Oregon graduate, joined Idaho Education News in 2019. She is a 2019 Education Writers Association fellow reporting on Latino student outcomes in Idaho. She also is a 2019 American Press Institute fellow. She can be reached at [email protected].

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