Northwest News

Teacher tackles alleged shooter at North Thurston High School in Lacey, no injuries

Nobody was hurt during a shooting that was reported at North Thurston High School Monday morning, according to district spokeswoman Courtney Schrieve.

Schrieve said the suspect, a student, fired at least one shot into the air.

Lacey Police commander Jim Mack said a 16-year-old is being held at the Lacey Police Station while a search warrant is being served at his home.

The student transfered from another school about a month ago, Mack said. His name was not released.

Lacey Police are working with several other law enforcement agencies including Olympia, Tumwater,Thurston County and the FBI on the investigation, Mack said.

Schrieve said she heard reports that the gunman was taken down by AP Government teacher Brady Olson.

"He's a very large guy, he's a very popular teacher, and I can see him doing that," Schrieve said.

North Thurston senior Manisha Sapkota, 18, said she was in the commons, on her way to class, when she heard the first shot. She thought it was a table that had fallen. Then Sapkota said she heard a second shot, and a lot of screams.

"I started running," she said. "I said, 'Am I going to get shot? Am I going to die today?' It was scary.

Sapkota said a teacher took her and other students to a neighborhood across the street from the school, to wait until it was safe to return to the campus.

School will be dismissed after police clear the scene, the post stated. Police have told dispatch that the inside of the high school is clear.

Parents and students were reunited at South Sound Stadium throughout the morning. There were a lot of hugs and tears.

Schrieve said students who weren't picked up at the school will be bused home. If nobody is home, students will be taken to district headquarters, 305 College, where they can be picked up by parents.

Tyrina Thrower, 15, said she stayed on the phone with her dad as she hid in a classroom with others immediately after the shooting.

"I was crying, and I told him there was a guy with a gun in the building, Thrower said.

Her dad, Charlesell Thrower, 50, a former police officer said his first instinct was to calm his daughter down. Then he went into protective mode.

"I told her, 'What I need you to do is stay low, stay quiet and listen to your teachers."

Student Anthony Rybalkin, 16, said he was in the school's commons area when the shots were fired. He said he saw the suspect, and Olson's heroic efforts.

"I saw (the student) walking down the stairs with a cigarette and gun in his hand," Rybalkin said. "I was like, 'This is actually happening.'"

Rybalkin said Olson tackled the suspect, and another teacher helped hold him down until police arrived.

School is canceled for the day, as well as athletic events and activities. Chinook Middle School is still open, Schrieve said.

Capital Christian Center, across the street from the high school, will be open from noon to 8 p.m. and counselors will be available, according to Deborah McLain. The address is 4431 Martin Way East. For information, call Cortnei Boyd, 360-528-7403.

“We want to support the community any way we can,” McLain said.