Teacher’s Compassionate Response To 6th-Grade Shooter Helps Save Many During Shooting

A shooting crisis at an Idaho school ended in the most remarkable way due to an act of kindness by an 8th-grade math teacher.


Krista Gneiting used kindness and a hug to stop the 6th-grade girl who was on a shooting spree.

8th-grade math teacher Gneiting, was busy preparing her students for exams when she heard gunfire in the school hallway.

The incident

A 6th-grade girl had opened fire inside Rigby Middle School in Idaho and Gneiting was worried for the safety of her class.

“I just told my students, ‘We are going to leave, we’re going to run to the high school, you’re going to run hard, you’re not going to look back, and now is the time to get up and go,’” she recalled.

With her class safe and secured, Gneiting went to see how could help others.

6th-grade shooter

The 6th-grade student had taken out a handgun from her bookbag, shooting and wounding two students and the school’s custodian.

Krista was tending to one of the victims when she looked up and saw the girl with the gun standing before her.

“It was a little girl and my brain couldn’t quite grasp that,” she said. She knew she had to act fast and take away the gun from the girl’s hand.

And she was able to do that in a gentle and compassionate way.

Showing amazing compassion

Krista Gneiting kept her voice calm as she asked the girl if she was the shooter. And then she said, “I just walked up to her and I put my hand over her hand,” she recalled.

She acted with amazing love and patience towards the girl, “I just slowly pulled the gun out of her hand and she allowed me to. She didn’t give it to me but she didn’t fight.”

Now Krista Gneiting could have easily acted with judgement towards her but was instead overcome with compassion for the troubled young girl.

“Then after I got the gun, I just pulled her into a hug because I thought, this little girl has a mom somewhere that doesn’t realize she’s having a breakdown and she’s hurting people,” she explained.

Krista got in touch with the police but remained in the hallway just hugging the girl. “I just kept hugging her and loving her and trying to let her know that we’re going to get through this together,” the math teacher said.

The 6th-grade girl opened up to Krista and she remained with her till the police had arrived, soothing her as she was arrested. “I do believe that my being there helped her because she calmed down,” Krista said.

God’s grace

God had placed Gneiting in that terrible situation so that she could save many lives by showing the shooter deep compassion.

The 8th-grade math teacher continues to support the girl even requesting people to forgive her rather than judge her. “She is just barely starting in life and she just needs some help,” Krista said.

“Everybody makes mistakes. I think we need to make sure we get her help and get her back into where she loves herself so that she can function in society.” Thankfully, the three people injured in the shooting have recovered and are fine.

Krista Gneiting has shown us that love and compassion can even melt a shooter’s heart, and by doing this she was able to save so many young lives.


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