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Gunman, 14, kills himself inside Indiana school after exchanging fire with officers, police say

Tip may have prevented carnage
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Posted at 1:20 PM, Dec 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-13 19:38:49-05

RICHMOND, Ind . — A 14-year-old gunman apparently intent on shooting up a middle school killed himself after a gun battle with police Thursday morning, officials said.

Possible carnage was prevented because someone called 911 and reported a gunman was on his way to Dennis Middle School, officials said. That allowed police to respond and school officials to lock down the school before the teen arrived.

At the same time some students were arriving for school, officers engaged the teen in gunfire outside, then the 14-year-old shot out the front door glass and entered the hallway. Confronted in a stairwell, the teen shot himself, officials said.

No one else was injured.

Richmond is 66 miles northwest of Cincinnati.

"If that person hadn't made that call we'd be having a much different conversation right now," an Indiana State Police Supt. Doug Carter said at an afternoon news conference outside the school.

"Someone knew something, and they said something,” ISP Sgt. John Bowling told reporters.

The shooter was not a student at Dennis Middle School but he was a former student in the school district, a spokesperson said.

His name was not released.

Bowling said it was unclear how many shots were fired or why the teen was targeting the middle school.

Carter praised the quick response by school officials and police. Directing his comment toward the community, he said, "You will be extremely proud of the staff at this building ... Extraordinary heroism was displayed today by the Richmond police, the Wayne County Sheriff's Office and troopers of Indiana State Police before this ended."

Richmond Mayor David Snow expressed sorrow, saying officers had planned to give away toys at a holiday event Thursday night but first had to engage in a gun battle with "a child."

Snow called it a "tragic day" and called the incident “another example of gun irresponsibility” and “poor mental health access.”

CNN and WRTV-Indianapolis contributed to this story.