Inside Sources: ‘After I got the gun, I just pulled her into a hug’: Teacher describes Idaho school shooting

May 20, 2021, 4:03 PM
Idaho school shooting...
(Officers leave Rigby Middle School after a shooting in Rigby, Idaho, on Thursday, May 6, 2021. Associated Press)
(Officers leave Rigby Middle School after a shooting in Rigby, Idaho, on Thursday, May 6, 2021. Associated Press)

This is an editorial. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom.

A teacher ends a school shooting in Idaho earlier this month by disarming the shooter with a hug.

Idaho school shooting

May 6  9 a.m.: Rigby, Idaho, middle school teacher Krista Gneiting heard the gunshot down the hallway. When she looked outside her classroom door, she saw the janitor lying on the floor. She shut the door.

Two more rounds are fired.

 A sixth grade student opened fire, wounding two students and one adult, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. The girl shot two of the victims in the hallway before moving outside and shooting a third victim, the sheriff’s office said. All three victims are released from a hospital in a few days, according to ABC News.

Gneiting told ABC News she was helping one of the students who had been shot, when she saw a girl holding the gun.

Gneiting approached the girl and asked “Are you the shooter?”

Ask a question

She didn’t yell. She didn’t scream. She didn’t demand. She asked a question. We’ve talked about this on this show in the past, the power of asking a question. I often subscribe to the rule if you must speak, ask a question. Krista Gneiting asked the ultimate question.

That is an extraordinary lesson that I think many of us have missed in the headline of “One More School Shooting.” 

“I put my hand over her hand, and I just slowly pulled the gun out of her hand, and she allowed me to. And then after I got the gun, I just pulled her into a hug.” Gneiting said.

Try softer

We talked about how disconnected so many of us have become during the course of this pandemic. Human touch is a powerful thing.

Being in a space mentally where you are shooting at other human beings — to be held and hugged in that way had to be the most disarming thing of all.

[Gneiting] didn’t rush. Every instinct, you would have as a human being, she did the opposite. She chose to ask a question, rather than to yell or make a statement or a demand. She chose to touch softly, rather than hit or harm.

“She’s just barely starting in life,” the math teacher said. “And she just needs some help. Everybody makes mistakes. I think we need to make sure we get her help and get her back into where she loves herself, so that she can function in society.”

This was a moment that mattered, so do not miss it in the headline about just another school shooting.

I encourage everyone to go back, listen and read what this teacher taught us — not just about how to handle an extraordinary challenging situation. But to handle a lot of the things that we deal with every single day. It starts with a hug and a willingness to have compassion for those who have wronged us, who have been unfair to us. Then move forward with forgiveness.


Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson can be heard weekdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app. 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories


A group of high school students stand on a basketball court during a free throw. (Amanda Dickson/KS...
Amanda Dickson

Opinion: Is sportsmanship dead in high school basketball?

After a weekend basketball game, it's clear some of our students have a lot of learn when it comes to civility and sportsmanship.
4 days ago
Utah's Morning News anchor Tim Hughes relays the experience he had with his wife Becki, when, after...
Tim Hughes

Opinion: A relaxing vacation featuring baby turtles on the front lines of nature!

While vacationing recently, Utah's Morning News host Tim Hughes and his family had the chance to help baby turtles begin their long journey.
19 days ago
One of the hosts of Utah's Morning News, Amanda Dickson, describes the first hours of her early shi...
Amanda Dickson

Opinion: Takeaways from the early hours in the Utah people’s house

The Utah Capitol, sometimes called the people's house, was quiet in the first hours of the first day of the 2023 legislative session.
19 days ago
BURBANK, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 06: A cold and flu medicine shelf is empty in a CVS pharmacy on Dece...
Amanda Dickson

Opinion: Is everyone you know sick in Utah?

Does it seem like people are more people are sick in Utah? The numbers are there to back up that viruses — yes multiple — are working their way around.
26 days ago
Republican Party failed to vote on a new House Speaker on Tuesday. An expert joins KSL NewsRadio to...
Mark Jones

Republican Party can’t decide on House Speaker. What does this mean?

Republican Party failed to vote on a new House Speaker on Tuesday. An expert joins KSL NewsRadio to discuss what this means.
1 month ago
The Utes lose at the 109th Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif....
Amanda Dickson

Opinion: We love our Utes, lose or win at the Rose Bowl

We watched the Utes lose the final Rose Bowl game as we know it. But love them anyway — it's how you know you're a real fan.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Inside Sources: ‘After I got the gun, I just pulled her into a hug’: Teacher describes Idaho school shooting