Middle school focuses on recovery as authorities investigate shooting of armed student

MOUNT HOREB, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin authorities on Thursday promised a thorough investigation of the fatal police shooting of a student who they say was armed outside a middle school, as families in the community gathered to comfort one another.

Authorities did not release additional details on the inquiry being led by the Wisconsin Department of Justice and have not released the name of the student.

"When faced with a deadly threat, they responded with deadly force," Mount Horeb Police Chief Doug Vierck wrote in a Facebook post asking for patience with the ongoing investigation. “No officers, students, or staff were injured other than the armed individual.”

Authorities previously said only that officers responded to the school after receiving a report of someone with a weapon. They still have not said whether the student fired a weapon, pointed one at police or what type of weapon he had.

The middle school locked down for hours Wednesday along with a nearby high school and elementary school, and did not release students until well into the afternoon. The district reported after 8 p.m. that all students had been reunited with family.

Attorney General Josh Kaul on Wednesday night largely declined to answer questions about what happened once police arrived at Mount Horeb Middle School, saying he could not compromise the investigation.

State law requires an outside agency to investigate any death caused by police, and the Wisconsin Department of Justice typically handles those reviews.

Mount Horeb Area School District did not hold classes Thursday. On its Facebook page, the district said a space at the high school hosted a community gathering for families.

“Our community has experienced a collective crisis and together we will provide support and work toward recovery,” said a statement attributed to Superintendent Steve Salerno.

Law enforcement in Mount Horeb and Dane County on Thursday referred all questions to the Department of Justice. The village is about 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of the state capital of Madison.