A school shooting was stopped before it could begin at North Thurston High School in Lacey, Washington on Monday as an unarmed teacher tackled a student armed with a fully loaded firearm. The student, who had fired two shots, both not targeting individuals, had recently transferred to the school from Mount Rainer High School in Des Moines.
The teacher, Brady Olson, now hailed as a hero, released a statement reading, “I reacted in a way that any other teacher would react and at the sound of a gunshot had three other adults, including Tim Brown, Dean of Students, Principal Steve Rood, and Security Officer, Jim Beltico, going toward the sound of gun fire rather than away.” Upon tackling the student, Olson disarmed him, and then aided in handing him over to the police. However, a very different outcome could have resulted had Olson not taken action.
Lacey Police Commander Jim Mack commented after the incident that the student’s actions might have been an attempt at “suicide by cop.” This attempt was nearly successful as the campus resource officer, a Lacey Police officer, was preparing to shoot the student as Olson tackled him. Had Olson not taken action, or had he been carrying a firearm himself, this prevented-tragedy would have resulted in the loss of at least one life.