Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has reacted to a tragic incident at his former school in which a student took his own life.
The incident, which sparked a soft lockdown at Mankato West High School on Tuesday, saw a 17-year-old boy die at a local hospital after suffering a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the school's parking lot.
It happened a day before Mankato West High was among the 16 schools in Minnesota that was the victim of a hoax swatting call, sparking a major police response to the school and causing a lockdown.
"As a former teacher at Mankato West, and as a Dad, I'm thinking about all the students and educators affected by the death of a student and classmate this week, as well as the trauma of Wednesday's swatting calls," Walz said in a tweet.
Walz, who taught geography and was a football coach at Mankato West before entering politics, spoke more about it in a press conference Thursday. He said he has spoken to some of teachers and recognized the trauma the staff and students have experienced this week.
"My 15-year-old who is here [enrolled] in the St. Paul Public Schools District was receiving real-time videos of his friends in closets in Mankato West [High School], in the very same classrooms I taught in," Walz said.
"That kind of dangerous hoax is unacceptable and will not be tolerated at any school in our state," Walz added on Twitter. "I will always work to protect the safety of our students, in and out of the classroom."
The incident on Tuesday happened around in the overflow parking lot off of Pleasant Street near the high school, according to police in Mankato.
Mankato Health has been providing students with counseling and access to mental health resources since the incident.
A new mental health crisis lifeline number — 988 — was launched in July nationwide.
If you or someone you know is having a mental health crisis, you can find your local adult mental health support numbers here.