HARRISBURG -- A school principal was shot by a student Wednesday in a suburban high school but is in stable condition.

According to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, a teenage male identified as a student at Harrisburg High School used a handgun to shoot principal Kevin Lein in an administrative office area of the school about 10 a.m. Lein sustained a flesh wound on his arm and was taken by ambulance to receive treatment.

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Harrisburg School District Superintendent Jim Holbeck said two staff members, assistant principal Ryan Rollinger and athletic director Joey Struwe, subdued the student until law enforcement officials arrived to take the shooter into custody.

“Nobody wants it to happen,” Holbeck said at a 12:30 p.m. press conference. “It’s a shame for years that schools have been preparing for this to happen, but you never want it to happen in your own back yard.”

Holbeck said he has spoken with Lein, whom was reportedly in high spirits.

“The first thing he asked me is how I was doing,” Holbeck said.

Sam Clemens, a Sioux Falls Police Department public information officer, said they believe the shooter acted alone, and that students and staff are safe.

Law enforcement officials said they were unsure of the shooter’s motive. Holbeck said he was unaware of any past disciplinary issues with the shooter.

The shooting triggered a lockdown that was in place less than 5 minutes after shots were fired, Clemens said.

Holbeck lauded the bravery of his staff and said the school district’s attention has turned to reuniting students with their families.

He said the district has not yet decided if classes at Harrisburg High will resume Thursday.

“The thing that’s most on our mind is making sure our students and staff are OK physically and mentally,” Holbeck said. “That is the most important thing right now.

“With the parents, I hope the first thing they do is hug their kids. And that they let them know there are a lot of ways to take care of controversy, but violence is not one of them.”

Harrisburg is a suburb of Sioux Falls in southeast South Dakota with a population of about 4,000.


 --The latest developments in a South Dakota school shooting that injured a high school principal. All times local:


12:55 p.m.


Authorities say a shooting at a South Dakota high school may have turned out far worse if not for the intervention of an assistant principal.


The shooting at Harrisburg High School happened at about 10 a.m. Authorities say a student got into a dispute with the principal in the principal's office, pulled a gun and shot the principal in the arm.


Sioux Falls Police Officer Sam Clemens says Assistant Principal Ryan Rollinger tackled the student and held him down with help from athletic director Joe Struwe.


Principal Kevin Lein suffered what's been called a flesh wound.


Authorities say they don't know what may have caused the dispute. They say a suspected shooter was in custody and no students were reported hurt.

12:40 p.m.

A senior student at a South Dakota high school says her principal came onto the intercom to speak to the schools minutes after he was shot by a student.

Eighteen-year-old Aanna Okerlund says she was in college algebra when one of her classmates ran into the room to tell the class he had seen a student with a gun.

Okerlund says principal Kevin Lein came onto the intercom shortly afterward to tell students there was a school-wide lockdown. She says Lein later told students by intercom that he had been shot "but was fine."

She says students were crying and shaking in the corner of the classroom while they waited for news.

Okerlund says the incident is "surreal." She says she has gone to Harrisburg public schools her entire life and it's always been a safe environment.


11:30 a.m.:

The principal of a South Dakota high school was shot and lightly wounded Wednesday in a shooting at the school, but authorities said a suspected shooter was in custody and no students were reported hurt.

Harrisburg High School Principal Kevin Lein suffered a flesh wound in the morning attack, Superintendent James Holbeck told local media outlets.

The suspected shooter is believed to be a student and was in custody, Lincoln County Deputy State's Attorney Ross Wright said. He said Lein was in stable condition.

District administrative assistant Tracy Heiden said all students were safe, but the school was locked down. Parents were asked to stay away, but a handful of parents had gathered outside one entrance. Access to the school from a main thoroughfare was shut off, with a sheriff's deputy standing guard nearby with a rifle.

Harrisburg is about 10 miles south of Sioux Falls.

--The Associated Press contributed to this report.