May 6 was a terrible day in Rigby.
A shooting at Rigby Middle School sent a janitor and two students to the hospital (thankfully with non-life-threatening injuries).
The events of that day will forever scar the psyches of students, teachers and staff who were on campus as well as those of their loved ones.
But it could have been so much worse, if not for the actions of one incredibly brave teacher.
Eighth-grade math teacher Krista Gneiting has been rightfully hailed as a hero for her actions in disarming the student. On Wednesday, for the first time, Gneiting told her story of that day to ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
In an interview with Amy Robach, Gneiting detailed the scene.
Gneiting was preparing her students for final exams when she heard a gunshot from down the hall.
“I got up and I walked to my door and I just looked out and I just saw one person in the hallway, quite a ways down and it was our janitor and I shut the door and I came back in and I heard two more shots,” Gneiting told Robach. “So I just told my students we are going to leave, we’re going to run to the high school, you’re gonna run hard. You’re not gonna look back and now is the time to get up and go.”
As Gneiting exited her classroom she heard one of the victims.
“One of the boys just started talking about ‘Ouch, I’m shot.’ And I just looked at him and I said ‘Are you shot?’ and he said yes,” Gneiting said.
While she was trying to help the boy Gneiting looked up and saw the gun.
Rigby Middle School math teacher Krista Gneiting described the moment she encountered the shooter on May 6. “It was a little girl and my brain…
“I just knew that when I saw that gun I had to get the gun,” Gneiting said.
“It was a little girl and my brain couldn’t quite grasp that. And so I looked at her and I quietly said ‘Are you the shooter?’ And she just watched me and I just walked up to her and I put my hand over her hand and I just slowly pulled the gun out of her hand and she allowed me to. She didn’t fight. She didn’t give it to me but she didn’t fight.”
Gneiting then said she pulled the girl into a hug.
“(B)ecause I thought this little girl has a mom somewhere that doesn’t realize she’s having a breakdown and she’s hurting people.”
Gneiting continued her embrace and worked to calm the girl.
”After a little while the girl started talking to me and I could just really tell she was very unhappy and I just kept huggin’ her and lovin’ her and trying to let her know we’re gonna get through this together and so I looked at her and I just said he needs to put you in handcuffs. And she didn’t respond, she just let him and he was very gentle and very kind and he just went ahead and put her in the police car.
“I do believe that my being there helped her because she calmed down and she was able to just watch me and to stay calm and let me approach her. So I do know that my calmness definitely must have affected her.”
Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Taylor told ABC News the girl, who has not been named because she is a juvenile, remains in custody and has been charged.
Gneiting is hopeful the girl gets the help she needs.
“She’s just barely starting life and she just needs some help,” Gneiting 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.”