The teacher who disarmed a sixth-grade shooter in her Idaho school hugged the girl until police arrived — while thinking “this little girl has a mom somewhere,” she revealed in a new interview.
Krista Gneiting, a math teacher at Rigby Middle School, is credited with saving lives with her calm heroics that day. Two students and a janitor survived their injuries in the school shooting. No one was killed.
Gneiting was preparing students for final exams when she heard a gunshot in the hallway and saw the injured custodian on the floor, according to ABC News.
“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 the network.
The teacher said she came to the aid of one of the injured students when she saw the shooter holding a handgun, and approached the young girl.
“It was a little girl, and my brain couldn’t quite grasp that,” she reportedly said. “I just knew when I saw that gun, I had to get the gun.”
“Are you the shooter?,” Gneiting reportedly asked the unidentified student, and put her hand on the girl’s arm and slid it down to disarm her.
“I just slowly pulled the gun out of her hand, and she allowed me to. She didn’t give it to me, but she didn’t fight,” Gneiting said. “And then after I got the gun, I just pulled her into a hug because I thought, this little girl has a mom somewhere that doesn’t realize she’s having a breakdown and she’s hurting people.
“After a while, the girl started talking to me, and I could tell she was very unhappy,” Gneiting told ABC. “I just kept hugging her and loving her and trying to let her know that we’re going to get through this together. I do believe that my being there helped her because she calmed down.”
When cops arrived, Gneiting told the girl that she would be handcuffed.
“She didn’t respond, she just let him. He was very gentle and very kind, and he just went ahead and took her and put her in the police car,” she said.
The child has been charged, but not identified because of her age.
Gneiting said she forgives the violent minor and hopes she can be rehabilitated.
“She is just barely starting in life and she just needs some help. Everybody makes mistakes,” she reportedly 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.”
With AP wires