A Bloomington Jefferson High School student was hospitalized for multiple stab wounds after a fight with another teen that sent students darting into classrooms, resulting in a 90-minute lockdown.
Police said the two juveniles, who aren’t being identified, got into a fight in a hallway about noon before one girl stabbed the other multiple times. The severity of the victim’s injuries was unclear, but Bloomington Police Chief Jeff Potts said she’s in stable condition at HCMC.
A video that a student posted to Snapchat shows the two girls tussling and the attacker jabbing the knife at the victim. Within seconds, staff and other students separated the two teens and the suspect was arrested.
“I can say it’s very rare for a knife to be involved in an incident at a Bloomington school,” Potts said, adding that investigators are looking into what led to the altercation.
Jefferson, one of two public high schools in Bloomington, has about 1,600 students and one school resource officer from the Police Department who responded to the incident immediately. Bloomington Public Schools spokesman Rick Kaufman said parents were notified about the incident immediately and the lockdown was protocol to clear the scene. Classes later resumed, and school was dismissed at the usual time. Extra counselors and social workers will be on staff Wednesday to help students who were affected by the incident, he said.
“It’s unfortunate these incidents happen,” Kaufman said, adding that it’s the first time in his 13 years with the district that any student has been injured by any weapon. “They are quite rare. Our staff responded as they’re trained.”
Potts said that police and school administrators will have additional conversations on how to keep students safe in the school, which does not have metal detectors. Potts declined to describe what kind of knife was used in the stabbing.
Junior Marina Bulov, 16, said she was walking down the hall when teachers yelled at students to take cover in classrooms immediately.
“We thought it was a drill at first,” she said. “A lot of people thought it was a school shooting.”
From their dark, locked classrooms, students realized what was happening when Snapchat videos of the fight were posted.
Amy Roberts, a longtime Bloomington resident who attended the school district, said she had never heard of a violent incident happening in the west metro school district.
“This is shocking. This stuff just doesn’t happen here,” she said after picking up her grandson.
Kaufman said that a rumor the two girls were in a fight the day before wasn’t true and the school staff had no reason to suspect they were at odds or that either had a weapon. The student who is in custody is unlikely to return to Jefferson and may be expelled, he said. He added that parents shouldn’t be fearful of sending their kids to school Wednesday, calling it an isolated incident.
“Schools are the safest place to send their kids,” he added.
Staff writer Paul Walsh contributed to this report.