A 14-year-old boy shot and seriously wounded himself in front of horrified classmates in the cafeteria of a New Hampshire elementary school Friday, officials said.
The Walpole Elementary School eighth grader, identified as Hunter Mack by classmates, was airlifted to a local hospital with serious injuries, the New Hampshire Sentinel Source reported. According to the newspaper, it was the region's first school shooting in recent memory. No information was released Friday night about the boy's condition.
The shooting took place around 11 a.m. in front of 70 other students, said Principal Samuel Jacobs, who was also in the cafeteria at the time. The school, which has 125 students in grades five through eight, went into lockdown mode afterward. There was no danger to other students or staff after the shooting, officials said.
Cheshire County Attorney Peter Heed told New Hampshire's WMUR-TV Mack might have been upset about a "relationship issue" with a girl.
"It clearly involved a relationship issue. I think that is fair to say," Heed told WMUR.
Nick Phillips, a cousin and classmate of Mack’s who was in the cafeteria at the time of the shooting, told the Sentinel Source the teen mostly kept to himself. He told other students he was depressed and had talked about shooting himself earlier in the week, Phillips said.
He told WMUR everyone was terrified when the gun went off.
"They were all crying. It was sad," Phillips said. "They're shocked about what happened."
Parents quickly assembled at the school to pick up their children, the Sentinel Source reported. Some mothers wept when police informed them their children had witnessed the shooting, and many students left with tear-stained cheeks or expressionless faces.
Officials have not said what type of gun was used or how Mack gained access to it.
Counselors were at the school Friday afternoon and will be on site Saturday to speak with students.