Student charged with attempted murder in Sioux Falls-area school shooting


A 16-year-old student is charged with attempted murder in connection with a shooting at a Sioux Falls-area high school.

The teenager, who is a junior at Harrisburg High School, is accused of shooting Principal Dr. Kevin Lein in the arm Wednesday morning. The student was scheduled to meet with the principal that morning for violating school rules last week, Harrisburg Superintendent Jim Holbeck said, KSFY reports.

He is charged in adult court with attempted first-degree murder and commission of a felony while armed with a firearm, the Argus Leader reports. He was a new student at the school this year, Holbeck said at a news conference Thursday morning.

The teen's father, who spoke with The Associated Press, said he doesn't know what led his son to bring a handgun to school, but says he has been quiet for the past year and is "just mad at everybody."

The student is accused of firing a shot at Lein, and then assistant principal Ryan Rollinger tackled him. Rollinger, along with activities director Joey Struwe, held the suspect down until law enforcement officials arrived, KELO reports.

Students were sent home after the incident, but school resumed Thursday – and Principal Lein returned to his post in an effort to prove the school is a safe place to be, the Argus Leader reports.

Holbeck said at the news conference they are aiming to make the day as normal as possible for students, adding it's important for students to have a place to process what happened.

There are counselors available for anyone who needs to speak with someone, although Holbeck said there haven't been too many students traumatized by the shooting. Police are also on campus as added security.

The student is scheduled to make his first court appearance Thursday afternoon. If convicted, each charge carries a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison and a $50,000 fine, the Argus Leader says.

Harrisburg is about 10 miles south of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

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