A teenager who got into a gun fight with police after he allegedly shot two students outside a high school prom in Wisconsin died several hours after being wounded in the incident.
Police said 18-year-old Jakob Wagner — a former student at Antigo High School in Antigo, Wis. — died at 1:06 a.m. Sunday “after lifesaving measures at a nearby hospital,” according to a statement posted on the Antigo Police Department’s Facebook page.
Two other teenagers, shot as they were leaving the prom, suffered gunshot wounds that were not life-threatening, police said. A female student has been released from the hospital, police said, and a male student was undergoing surgery on Sunday morning.
Police said an otherwise calm night at the Antigo High School prom turned violent around 11 when Wagner arrived at the event with a rife and “began shooting while outside the entrance to the building,” police said.
Officers who were patrolling in the parking area heard the gunfire and one officer was able to open fire on the gunman, police said.
“The officer’s immediate response prevented further injuries and possible casualties,” police said. “The initial investigation and officer response indicate this was a lone shooter and a search warrant is being executed at his residence seeking any additional information pertaining to this incident.”
Police believe Wagner acted alone, according to CNN.
The shooting shocked parents, who told reporters that they didn’t expect a school shooting would occur in a small, 8,000-person town like theirs, where people know each other by name.
Sonia Reed, whose son Matthew attended the prom, told WSAW that she estimated that 100 to 120 students were at the event.
“I didn’t see anything suspicious,” Reed said. “I didn’t feel any bad vibes. It seemed like it was going to be a normal prom.”
When the shooting began, law enforcement descended on the scene, setting up a perimeter and moving students to a corner, Brandon Irish, a DJ at the prom, told CNN.
“They heard there was a shooting, I believe, but I think they didn’t know for sure what was going on,” Irish said. “You could see that there was concern within their eyes and actions.”
“But, you know, we were surrounded by a lot of law enforcement.”
— Sean Duffy (@RepSeanDuffy) April 24, 2016
The Unified School District of Antigo posted a statement on its Facebook page noting that the shooter never gained access to the building and praising police for preventing “a major tragedy.”
“All prom attendees are safe, thanks to the quick police response and their securing the building,” the statement said. “Counseling services will be available in all schools tomorrow, Monday, for students and staff who may have been traumatized by this terrible incident.”
During a news conference several hours after the incident, Antigo Police Chief Eric Roller said the relationship between the shooter and the victims was not known, according to the Wausau Daily Herald. He noted that officers have been trained to respond to school shootings.
“The community is safe at this point,” he said.