Police: Suspect exchanged gunfire with officers inside school before killing himself

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RICHMOND, Ind. (WISH) — A 14-year-old suspect is dead after police say he exchanged fire with officers and then turned the gun on himself inside a school in eastern Indiana.

What happened this morning

Indiana State Police said that a shooting at David W. Dennis Intermediate School in Richmond has resulted in the death of the suspect. No one else was injured.

Police say the situation began around 8 a.m. Someone warned police that a person could be on the way to the school to “commit a violent act.” Police have not identified who gave the tip.

Officers responded quickly and confronted the suspect outside of the school.

Police originally told the media the suspect and officers exchanged gunfire outside of the school. ISP has revised that statement, saying that the suspect shot out the glass of a locked entry door at the school, then went into the school with officers pursuing him. That is when he exchanged gunfire with officers.

Then, according to state police, the suspect turned the weapon on himself. 

Police have not identified the suspect. Police said he was not a student at the school. It has not been made clear how he got his weapon.

No officers were injured, according to ISP. Police aren’t sure whether the suspect was struck by gunfire from officers.

The Richmond Police Department, Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, Indiana State Police and the FBI are working together on the investigation.

How the school reacted

The school announced around 8:40 a.m. that the school district was going to be locked down.

Just after 9 a.m., the district said David W. Dennis Intermediate School was secure following an active shooter situation.

Students from the intermediate school were being transported to Richmond High School on Thursday. Parents were asked to go to Civic Hall to pick up their students.

All other schools in Richmond were resuming classes and following regular dismissal times, the school district said. Afternoon preschool classes were canceled.

How leaders have responded

Gov. Eric Holcomb issued this statement on the shooting:

“Earlier this morning, I directed the Indiana State Police to work with all local responders at the shooting at Dennis Intermediate School. We will continue to work with the school and Superintendent Jennifer McCormick to do everything possible to assist the community and support all those impacted by this terrible unfolding situation.” 

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick issued this statement:

“Today a shooting at an Indiana school occurred. State Superintendent Dr. Jennifer McCormick is in contact with the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, the Indiana State Police, and Governor Holcomb and is actively monitoring the situation. We have full confidence in Richmond Community Schools’ Superintendent Todd Terrill and his team, law enforcement, and first responders. The Department stands ready to provide guidance and support, and we will provide further statements as information unfolds.”

At an afternoon press conference, Indiana State Police provided an update on the situation.

“I don’t understand now, I didn’t understand before and I’m not sure we’re ever going to understand why this continues to happen,” said ISP Superintendent Doug Carter. “My sincerest thoughts go to this community.”

Richmond’s police chief also spoke.

“I couldn’t have been prouder of all the law enforcement involved,” said Richmond Police Department Chief Jim Barnum. “These guys entered a school and ran toward the sound of shots.”

An earlier version of this store stated that officers exchanged gunfire with the suspect outside of the school. Following an investigation, officers now say the exchange happened inside of the school.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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