Anthony Rybalkin, 16, said he and a group of friends were hanging out near the lunch tables when he heard a loud boom. He looked up and saw a classmate from his sixth-period class walking down the stairs from the gym into the common area with a cigarette in his mouth and a gun in his hand.
“We thought it was fake for a second. Then he shot off another round,” said Rybalkin, who said he was about 20 feet away from the shooter. “Everyone just started running out the back door.”
Rybalkin tripped and fell as he ran away and turned his head to see if the shooter was coming his way. That’s when he saw Olson come up behind the shooter and tackle him. Two other teachers or administrators jumped on the teen and held him down, Rybalkin said in a phone interview.
“When Mr. Olson tackled him, he still had it (the gun) in his hand. I don’t know if one of the other teachers took it or not,” Rybalkin said.
He said the shooter was a new student and had joined his class within the past week or so.
“He said he has military parents. We don’t know if that’s true or not,” Rybalkin said.
School district spokeswoman Courtney Schrieve confirmed that the shooter was enrolled at the school, but she didn’t know how long he had been a student.