COCHISE COUNTY, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The Cochise County Sheriff's Office has confirmed a student died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at a Cochise County school on Tuesday, Jan. 9.
"The investigation in the case indicates this incident was a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound," the sheriff's office said in a Facebook post on Wednesday, Jan. 10. "The weapon was recovered and has been identified as belonging to a family member."
The eighth-grader was a student at Coronado Elementary School, which is located in Sierra Vista and is part of the Palominas Elementary School District.
The incident began around 9:20 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 9, with reports of an active shooter on campus.
The school was locked down and the sheriff's office responded. Deputies found the male student in the bathroom, according to the Sierra Vista School District.
Local, state and federal agencies all responded.
"Three decades I've been doing this job. It pulls your emotional strings what we did this morning," said Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels.
Deputies found no other threats on campus. Edna Lepley is a parent with two children at Coronado. She said she was notified by the school about the lockdown and showed up to Sierra Springs Church with limited details on what happened.
"I saw how many officials were there and all the law enforcement and that's when I realized this is something serious," Lepley said.
After she was reunited with her kids, Lepley said she learned what happened.
"There was a life lost and that's tragic. And a young life," Lepley said.
The district is now focusing on making sure students and staff get the support they need to heal.
The SVUSD said it is offering counseling and support for the Palominas district.
"Our little guys didn't even know that a tragedy had happened," said Marylotti Copeland, superintendent of the district. "They thought they got to hang out with cops today and that's all they knew. And for our older students it's going to be much harder and we're going to be there for them."
Copeland said there will be a crisis team on campus for as long as students and staff need them.
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