JOPLIN, Mo. (AP)
A 13- year-old student fired an AK-47 into the ceiling at his middle school this morning after confronting a pair of students and administrators, telling them, “please don’t make me do this,” officials said. No one was injured, and the boy was taken into custody. The student was wearing a mask and pointed the assault rifle at Principal Steve Gilbreth and Assistant Superintendent Steve Doerr, Superintendent Jim Simpson said. Simpson said the teen told them “not to make me do this,” then fired a shot into the ceiling, breaking a water pipe, and said again: “Please don’t make me do this.” “It was a very close call,” Simpson said. Doerr and Gilbreth persuaded the student to leave the building, where he was confronted by two police officers with weapons drawn, Simpson said. He said the student dropped the rifle and was taken into custody. Joplin police Officer Curt Farmer said officers also found a note in the student’s backpack indicating that he had placed an explosive in the school, which has about 700 students. The other students were moved to nearby Joplin Memorial Hall, and the school was closed while officers searched the building. The armed student, whose identity wasn’t released, apparently had been planning an attack for a “long time,” Simpson said.