On Monday morning, a 16-year-old student began shooting in North Thurston High School. Thanks to the quick and heroic action of Advanced Placement government and civics teacher Brady Olson, no one was hurt.
When he heard the gunfire, Olson ran at the student, tackling him to the ground. Two other administrators jumped in to help hold the student down and secure the weapon.
“No one, including myself, can prepare for a situation like this, so I’m very thankful that we’re all okay,” Olson said. “As always, students come first and today was no different.”
The shooting took place near the common areas where students were waiting around lunch tables.
“The dangerous thing is it was right before school starts,” district spokeswoman Courtney Schrieve said of the incident. “The kids would have all been in the commons.”
Praised for the heroic action, Olson was always a favorite among students.
“If anyone in the school were to do something like he did, I would think it would be him,” student Teia Patan said. “He’s one of those people who watch over kids.”
The Washington school’s staff had recently practiced active shooter drills in case of such an emergency.
“I’m incredibly proud to be a member of the bigger community of educators who teach and take care of our kids every day,” Olson said.
The shooter, a recent transfer according to fellow classmate Anthony Rybalkin, was taken into custody. Police also swept the school for a bomb.