Police have a student in custody, following a shooting Wednesday morning at Mattoon High School, in which another student was injured.
A statement posted Wednesday afternoon to the Mattoon school district website said high school officials learned of a shooter at the high school around 11:30 a.m Wednesday morning. School Resource Officers and school officials heard shots fired at the high school's cafeteria.
Penny Weaver, Editor of the Mattoon Journal Gazette and Times Courier, said one student was in stable condition at a local hospital while one male student was in custody. She said a teacher subdued the shooter.
The Mattoon School District announced Wednesday afternoon that the high school will dismiss at 12:09pm on Thursday because of the incident. Any students who stay home with parents' permission because of the incident will be given excused absences. The district also says counselors, clergy, and police officers will be available for students and staff.
The Coles-Moultrie Emergency Communications Center (Coles-Moultrie County 911 Cecom) reported the shooting on their Facebook page around 12 PM, with a warning to stay away from the high school campus. The Facebook posting said that police were securing the scene and investigating the shooting.
Mattoon High School was evacuated for the day. A posting on the Mattoon school district’s Facebook page says the high school students were being bussed to Riddle Elementary School, 4201 Western Avenue in Mattoon, where parents could pick them up. Other school buildings in the district were placed on soft lockdown.
The district posted on its website that high school students can pick up their vehicles from the school parking lot beginning at 5:00pm Wednesday, but they will not be allowed inside the building.
"We are saddened that this event has happened and we will provide counseling to students in need," said a statement issued by the school district. "We appreciate the qjuick response of school staff and first-responders. Most importantly, we offer our thoughts and prayers to the injured student and all who are affected by this tragedy."
The Journal-Gazette & Times-Courier reports that police and school authorities said at a press briefing that the both the alleged shooter and the shooting victim were students, and that the shooting occurred in the high school cafeteria around 11:30 AM. Officials said the injured student was hospitalized in stable condition.