GLENWOOD, Iowa, U.S.A. – The local high school principal was one of several people hurt in a shooting near his home early this week.
Principal Richard Hutchinson, who is in his second year at Glenwood Community High School, is recovering from the Sunday afternoon shooting.
“This was a very sad and unfortunate event,” school Superintendent Devin Embray said in a statement. “We are in shock and disbelief and we are letting law enforcement handle the situation and guide us through it.”
Students, who like Hutchinson, are upset.
“He connects with the students on a more personal level,” said senior Quin Baker on Tuesday. “He has made a pretty big impact on the school in such a short time.”
Tristan Brown, a 2015 graduate of the school who is now a freshmen at The University of Iowa, said, “There was no reason for him to be put in that position. He definitely took a supportive part in his community, and always went to all of the school functions.”
In a short interview at school on Tuesday, Assistant Principal Rick Nickerson spoke about the principal’s impact in his community.
“He is a caring individual,” said Nickerson. “Staff and students know that he cares personally about every individual in the school.”
According to a prepared press release from the Mills County Attorney’s office, the Glenwood Police Department, the Iowa State Patrol and the Mills County Sheriff’s Office and emergency medical personnel responded to a call about a possible gunshot around 5:45 p.m. Sunday.
Three people were taken to local hospitals for treatment and a gun was found at the scene, the press release said. The incident remains under investigation by local and state police.
Officials have said all possible motives, including racism, would be investigated.
Hutchinson is black; the school and town is predominantly white.
The morning after the shooting, Embray sent an email to parents and staff.
“The district has no reason to believe that any staff or students are in any danger at this time,” the superintendent’s email message said. “However, we have increased security measures to monitor the situation at this point.”
Originally published on Youth Journalism International