Teen suspect takes own life in shooting at middle school in Richmond, Indiana
RICHMOND, Indiana (WKEF/WRGT) - Many questions remain Thursday afternoon after police say a 14-year-old boy shot his way into a middle school in Richmond, Indiana , ultimately shooting and killing himself.
"Today's a tragic day in Richmond," mayor Dave Snow said in an afternoon briefing with police and school authorities.
||WATCH: RCS Superintendent Dr. Todd Terrill releases video statement on Facebook about shooting
Richmond Police knew something was rumored to be happening at Dennis Middle School, thanks to a tip called in. Extra officers were on hand and when the suspect arrived at the school, police say they "knew who they were looking for." According to police, the suspect, who is not yet being identified, shot through a locked glass door to get inside the building. Officers followed and shots were fired, it's unclear if any of the shots fired by the officers hit the teen.
The teen boy who police say took his own life was not a student at Dennis Middle School, police say. While no other students were harmed, Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter stressed the magnitude of what took place, "Until we change the way we view violence, we're never going to get any better. It breaks my heart to be here today and to stand here and say the things that I've got to say to you."
The teen's motive is unknown at this time, but what police do know is that the tip called in saved lives, "Had they not made that call," said Captain David Bursten with the Indiana State Police, "there is no doubt in my mind that we would be having a much different conversation right now."
WATCH: View of the scene.
Students were dismissed from Dennis just after 10 a.m. and taken to Richmond High School where parents were able to pick them up. Richmond Community School Superintendent Todd Terrill said the district drills regularly for active-shooter situations and takes the drills seriously. Richmond Police have also been training for this very situation, training they hoped to never use, "If you'd have told me 30 years ago that we'd have to train our officers to respond to school shootings, I'd probably have told you you're crazy," Richmond Police Chief Jim Barnum said.
Richmond Police officers were planning to deliver toys to kids for Christmas today, instead they're now working with Indiana State Police and the Wayne County Sheriff's Office in this investigation.
Richmond's mayor Dave Snow called today's events "tragic on so many levels," saying students should never feel unsafe in their school. "Every day parents, students, teacher and community members from all over Indiana and the country live in fear that someday a situation like this will happen in their hometown. For Richmond, today is that day." Snow called for concrete action that would prevent guns from getting into the hands of children. "This is yet another example of gun irresponsibility and poor mental health awareness and access that often leads to the death of our youth."
Classes at other schools in the district resumed as normal. While authorities are praising the police and school response to the incident, Terrill said its motto is 'We Are Richmond' for a reason, "We are Richmond, and we are Richmond because of the way that we come together and we fight through tough times and we meet each other's needs and we step up to the things that need to change."
It's unclear what type of weapon the teen used, or where he obtained the weapon.
ABC22/FOX45 has a crew in Richmond and will update this story as more information is available.