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Rigby teacher shares how she disarmed school shooter

Rigby Middle School Police.jpg
Posted at 4:23 PM, May 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-19 19:03:42-04

RIGBY, Idaho — Nearly two weeks after three people were shot at a middle school in Rigby, Idaho, the teacher who disarmed the shooter spoke out about what she witnessed and how her actions helped to prevent more injuries.

In an interview with ABC News that aired on "Good Morning America" Wednesday, Krista Gneiting, a math teacher at Rigby Middle School, said she was preparing her students for finals when she heard a gunshot and looked out the window to see the custodian lying on the ground.

Read - Student injures 3 in Idaho middle school shooting; all expected to recover

The shooter was a 6th grade female student who lives in Idaho Falls but attends Rigby Middle School. The girl shot two victims in a hallway and one outside. All three victims have been released from the hospital and are expected to survive.

Gneiting told ABC News she was helping one of the students who had been shot when she saw the girl holding a gun.

"I just walked up to her and I put my hand over her hand, I just slowly pulled the gun out of her hand and she allowed me to," Gneiting said in the interview. "She didn't give it to me but she didn't fight. 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."

Read - Rigby, Idaho community raises funds, recognizes teacher & janitor after school shooting

As she held the girl, Gneiting said she called 911 and stayed with her until police arrived.

"After a while, the girl started talking to me and I could tell she was very unhappy," Gneiting told GMA. "I just kept hugging her and loving her and trying to let her know that we're going to get through this together."

Following the shooting, widespread support from the community flooded in for the victims and for Gneiting who is being called a hero.

In a post, Gneiting said in part, "My heart is touched by all the incredible outpouring of love I've received. Thank you. I don't want money, I just appreciate the incredible support of Rigby!!! I love my students so much! It is why I teach!!"

School was not in session the day after the shooting so students and community members could work through the events that occurred and seek counseling that was made available by the School District.

At a news conference, Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Taylor said that the girl could face three counts of attempted murder. Her exact charges have not been released yet.

Read - Child psychologist says access to guns and games adds to potential for violence

Gneiting told ABC News she hopes people can find it in their hearts to forgive the girl and help get her the support she needs.

"She is just barely starting in life and she just needs some help. Everybody makes mistakes," she said in the interview. "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."