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April 28, 2015

Washington state high school gunman due in court, classes resume

A Washington state high school student who fired a revolver in a stairwell before class in an apparent attempt to provoke an on-campus guard into killing him in return was due in court on Tuesday to face multiple gun charges, police said.

The 16-year-old student shot off two rounds that struck the floor and ceiling inside a stairwell on Monday at North Thurston High School in Lacey, just outside Olympia, Lacey police said.    

Government studies teacher Brady Olson tackled the boy before more shots could be fired, and police arrested the teen just before 8 a.m., authorities said. Nobody was injured.

Classes were set to resume with counselors on hand to help students and teachers, Superintendent Raj Manhas said in a statement.

 The incident marked the latest in a series of campus shootings that have sparked a national debate over school safety and gun control, and came months after a student at another Washington state high school shot dead four people before turning the gun on himself.

The student in the latest case was due in Thurston County Juvenile Court on Tuesday, Lacey police commander Jim Mack said, adding that he will face multiple gun charges.

 The boy told investigators he had not wanted to hurt anybody but wanted to be shot and killed by the school resource officer, Mack said.

School officials said the boy had recently transferred to the school and faced bullying.

"No one, including myself, can prepare for a situation like this, so I'm very thankful that we're all okay," Olson, the teacher, said. "As always, students come first, and today was no different."

Panicked students fled the building after hearing the shots, and later could be seen gathering on a school football field, local broadcasters reported.