Sheriff: Shotgun blast damages school window in northern Minnesota

No students or staff were ever in danger, the sheriff says.
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Authorities are investigating after someone fired a shot through a window at a northern Minnesota school. 

The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office says a gymnasium window at South Ridge School in New Independence Township was damaged as a result "of a shotgun being discharged at the window from the direction of Swan Lake Road." 

Investigators responded to the school just before 1 p.m. Wednesday when the damage was reported, but they believe the shot was fired "in the preceding 24 hours and likely outside of school hours." 

The school was locked down as a precaution while authorities investigated the damage, but the sheriff notes that students and staff were never in danger. 

"The South Ridge School would like to thank the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office for their rapid response to investigate suspicions that a school window had been shot at," school officials said in a statement. "The Deputies determined that at no time were students and staff in danger. The damage is believed to have happen outside the school hours."

In addition to the school being damaged, a nearby church in Culver Township sustained shotgun damage in excess of $1,000. Authorities say Faith Lutheran Church, located on the 5700 block of Hwy. 7, had windows shot out and bullet holes in the siding and the church sign. 

The sheriff's office believes the incidents are connected. 

Anyone with information about the incidents, or anyone who heard recent sounds of shots or suspicious activities near the school, is asked to contact the sheriff's office at 218-336-4350. 

South Ridge School is located northwest of Duluth, and Swan Lake Road is the main road to the north of the school.

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