PHOENIX - We are learning more about a teacher who helped stop a shooting at an Idaho middle school on May 6.
The incident happened outside Rigby Middle School, located in a small city just outside of Idaho Falls. Idaho Falls is about 214 miles north of Salt Lake City. According to officials, the student pulled the handgun from her backpack and fired multiple rounds inside and outside the school. Two students and a custodian were wounded.
A female teacher disarmed the girl and held her until law enforcement arrived and took her into custody, authorities said, without giving other details. Authorities said they're investigating the motive for the attack and where the girl got the gun.
Jefferson County Sheriff Steve Anderson said all three victims were shot in their extremities and are expected to survive their injuries.
Teacher who disarmed suspect has ties to the Valley
On May 7, we learned that the teacher who reportedly disarmed the suspect is Krista Turnblom Gneiting, an 8th grade teacher at Rigby Middle School.
"Krista and her family, they have guns. They go out to the range and shoot," said Gneiting's brother-in-law, Layne Gneiting.
Layne says he spoke with Gneiting on the night of May 6. During the conversation, Gneiting recounted her calm and gentle approach with the suspect.
"She said, 'here she is. This black mask covering her face, black gloves on her hands holding the pistol,' and she went right up to her until she could lay her hand upon hers, and took the gun," said Layne.
Layne says Gneiting's familiarity with guns, as well as her maternal instinct, took over.
"She very lovingly, like a guardian angel, just held her, telling her the whole time 'it's going to be all right. Things are going to be OK. You're going to be OK," Layne recounted.
During the confrontation, Layne says the suspect opened up to the teacher.
"It just breaks your heart, and it tells you this little girl was in some deep emotional pain, and she thought death was the only way out, and so Krista just held her," said Layne.
The heroic teacher posted publicly on Facebook, thanking her school community for the support, saying in part "I love my students so much!!! It's why I teach!!! They make my heart happy every day!"
"She connected. She didn't see her as an enemy or a villain or a demon. She saw her as a human being who was hurting and needing help," said Layne.
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