JACKSON TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- Authorities said a seventh-grade student shot and injured himself inside the restroom of an Ohio middle school Tuesday, sending the school into lockdown. Police have not said if the shooting was intentional but said the student was carrying a "distractionary device" in his backpack.
Police said no other students were injured in the shooting at Jackson Middle School, about six miles north of Massillon. The boy's condition wasn't immediately known. He was transported to a nearby hospital.
Jackson Township Police Chief Mark Brink said the device found in the student's backpack was not an explosive that "would have caused harm to others," but said it could have produced smoke or a loud bang. Brink described the weapon as .22-caliber rifle and said investigators were unsure how the student brought the gun into the school undetected.
One student's mother read text messages from her son, who was barricaded inside the school. "'Come get me in, like, an hour. We're in a lockdown and I don't know if it's a drill. I love you. Just in case, if I go, tell everyone I love them,'" she told CBS Cleveland affiliate WOIO.
Jackson Local Schools superintendent Chris DiLoreto said the district's four elementary schools were closed and that teachers and students at the middle school were dismissed for the day.
"That Florida shooting just happened, and you keep thinking about your kid," parent Daniela Biller told The Columbus Dispatch. Biller has three children who attend middle school. "I just bawled my eyes out watching the Florida shooting and thinking about what if it was my kids."