A 14-year-old student died following an apparent suicide at a rural Arkansas high school, prompting a lockdown of the school’s campus Wednesday, officials said.
Cleburne Sheriff Chris Brown and Concord Police Chief Willie Baker said in a joint statement that officers responded around 12:40 p.m. after a school employee heard a gunshot come from the cafeteria bathroom.
“When he went to check the bathroom, he located a student in the bathroom with what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the head,” the statement read.
Cleburne County coroner Warren Olmstead confirmed that his office responded to Concord High School and was investigating after a student fatally shot himself.
Authorities said the student was a 14-year-old in the eighth grade and described the shooting at an “isolated incident.”
Multiple law enforcement agencies responded to the school as the school remained locked down for an unknown amount of time.
Officers searched students’ belongings and lockers before sending them home for the day, authorities said.
The identity of the student who died wasn’t immediately available. Olmstead declined to release the student’s name or age because he was unsure if his family had been notified.
He said the student died from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The 459-student district runs a kindergarten through sixth-grade school and a high school campus for grades seventh and up in Concord, a rural city just less than 100 miles northeast of Little Rock.
School officials canceled classes for the remainder of the week and will have grief counselors available when students and teachers return on Monday.
Doug Bradberry, school safety coordinator for the Arkansas Department of Education, said his office was aware of the shooting but had no information beyond the Cleburne County sheriff’s statement.
Schools are required to submit reports to the state Department of Education when there’s a shooting on campus.
The latest school shooting comes less than a month after a 14-year-old student brought a handgun into a Prescott high school and shot another student, according to officials there.
Authorities there haven’t charged the student suspected in the shooting and the student who was shot was released from the hospital days after.
The phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-TALK.
Read Thursday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.