ANTIGO, Wisc. — A person armed with a rifle opened fire outside a high school prom in Wisconsin, leaving three people injured, authorities said.
One person was critically injured and two others received minor injuries in the shooting at Antigo High School on Saturday night, said Lt. Jamie Lenzer of the Antigo Fire Department.
The shooter “showed up” and started firing outside the building where the dance was being held, according to Eric Roller, Antigo’s police chief.
“Officers were in the parking lot patrolling the activities and heard the shots, and an officer immediately fired upon the shooter, stopping the threat,” he said in a statement.
“All the people within the prom were eventually escorted from the school and are safe.”
A suspect is in custody, and there are no more threats to the community, he said.
The suspect is among the injured but it’s unclear whether the person is a student at the school, according to Rebecca Cardenas, a reporter at WSAW.
Sonia Reed, whose son Matthew attended the prom, told WSAW that she was on campus earlier in the evening for the “grand march,” during which students and their dates form a procession and parents cheer them on before the prom king and queen are named.
She estimates that there were 100 to 120 students in attendance and describes the atmosphere as “festive.”
“I didn’t see anything suspicious. I didn’t feel any bad vibes. It seemed like it was going to be a normal prom,” she told the station.
She learned of the incident, she said, when she received a call from another mother who said police were at the school and had “somebody down” in front of the school offices. The person was wearing camouflage pants and a dark top, Reed said. Her son had already left the prom by that time, she said.
Reed, who moved to Antigo from Texas in 2004, said that although she wouldn’t be surprised to hear something like this had happened in a major city, she was stunned it unfolded in Antigo.
Everyone knows each other in the town of 8,000 about 85 miles northwest of Green Bay, she said. She described it as a farm town where many students happily participate in Drive Your Tractor to School Day.
“I have two other children that’s in the high school, and they don’t want to go back, period,” Reed said. “They’re just beyond freaking out here.”