COLUMBIA — An 11-year-old boy, who is a student at South Callaway Middle School, is suspected in a shooting a few miles off school property.
Donnie Debrodie, who is the school’s transportation director, suffered one wound in his arm above the wrist, said Bob Smith, a Callaway County sheriff’s detective. Debrodie’s injury was not serious. He was the only person injured.
“It appeared that Mr. Debrodie was not the specific target; he shot at anybody who was in the area,” Smith said. “I don’t think it would have mattered who drove up that road, it was just him.”
There was no indication that the shooter ever intended to harm anyone at the school. The student is now in custody at the Boone County Juvenile Justice Center in Columbia.
Police said the student left the middle school around 1:30 p.m. and ran a couple of miles through farm fields to William Howard’s residence at 10416 County Road 445 near Mokane. Police said the suspect then stole three long guns at the Howard property.
When Howard and a friend appeared, the suspect fired shots at both of them, according to the Callaway County Sheriff’s Department said. Neither was hit.
Debrodie arrived at the property at that point and was shot once.
Debrodie had gone searching for the boy when it was announced he had left school property, schools Superintendent Dustin Storm said. It is typical for staff to go looking for students when they leave the grounds and to notify the sheriff’s department of a missing student, Storm said.
After Debrodie was hit, the boy fled the scene, leaving the weapons at the Howard property. He stole Howard’s pickup and drove off, according to the sheriff’s report.
After he was shot, Debrodie called the middle school and notified administrators of the danger, Storm said. The school went into a lockdown until officials were notified that the boy had been caught.
Debrodie, who is also a volunteer firefighter, went to the nearest fire station for help and to wait for an ambulance.
Police said the student crashed the pickup in a ditch about halfway between Howard’s property and the same fire station to which Debrodie had gone. The boy was taken into custody without incident. He was treated for injuries related to the crash and released to the Juvenile Justice Center.
The student has not acted like this before, Storm said. “There was no indication of anything leading up to this at the school.”