Mount Horeb Middle School active shooter threat, suspect dead

Mount Horeb Middle School was locked down for hours on Wednesday, May 1 amid what the school district called an active shooter threat. 

Attorney General Josh Kaul said a male suspect had a weapon outside the school. Officers responded and used deadly force on the suspect. The suspect did not gain entry into the school, and the entire incident took place outside.

Kaul said the suspect was a student of the school district, but did not provide an age or state which school the suspect attended. The investigation is ongoing, and no one other than the suspect was physically harmed. 

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The entire school district went on lockdown around 11:15 a.m. During the lockdown, students called and texted their parents, who rushed to the area. 

"Obviously, I know it's tough for a school to handle all of these things, but getting that call and not knowing, are they gonna make it? Is this gonna be our last phone call? It's hard," said parent Melissa Alvarado.


Active shooter situation in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin

"To get a call when you are at work from your babies crying saying that there's a shooting going on, and we're scared, and you're 30 minutes away from them," parent Brittany Rodriguez said.

The Mount Horeb School District includes roughly 2,500 students from pre-K to high school. Kaul said reunification is ongoing, and there is not believed to be any ongoing threat to the public.


Superintendent Steve Salerno said schools will be closed Thursday but offer support for students and families. The Wisconsin Department of Justice's Office of School Safety will provide additional support for school staff.

No law enforcement officers were injured during the incident, and the DOJ said those involved are on administrative leave, per agency policy. They were wearing body cameras during the incident.

The investigation remains ongoing. 

Mount Horeb is roughly 20 miles west of Madison.

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Gov. Tony Evers (D-Wisconsin)

"Every day, our kids, educators, and staff go to school and hope a day like this will never come. Having visited the district two months ago today, my heart breaks for the school, the district, and the entire Mount Horeb community. 

"I’ve been in contact with local school district officials to extend my full support for students, educators, staff, and their families as they grapple with what has undoubtedly been a scary and traumatic day for everyone involved.

"As additional details and information become available and first responders continue their important work, the state remains ready to do whatever we can to support the school district and the greater community."

State Superintendent Jill Underly

"My heart broke today with the news of the shooting and death outside of Mount Horeb Middle School. I’m sad for the great sense of anxiety and trauma caused for students, school staff, and the community, and all of us at the Department of Public Instruction stand ready to help in any way we can.

"Our schools should be welcoming places for all students, and they must be safe places for all students and staff.

"I want to especially thank the community's school staff and first responders for your quick action that likely saved lives. I am so thankful for law enforcement, medical personnel, and district personnel in responding quickly and ensuring the safety of our students.

"I also want to recognize how forthcoming the school district was with information, keeping the community up to date and giving confidence students were being kept safe. Thank you to Superintendent Steve Salerno and all the district's educators and leaders."