A subgroup of the National Rifle Association apologized Monday for issuing a report citing a school shooting that did not actually occur.
The National School Shield, a task force created by the NRA in the wake of the Newtown, Conn. elementary school shooting, last week fleshed out its recommendation to put armed guards in schools. But the New York Times and Mother Jones caught the group incorrectly citing a school shooting in Minnesota to validate the need for its proposals.“We have corrected that detail in the report and sincerely apologize for the error,” the National School Shield task force said in a statement sent to TPM. “We particularly regret any hurt the error may have caused to those who experienced or were close to those involved in either horrible event.”
The report claimed a 16-year-old killed six people during a 2010 school shooting at Hastings Middle School in Minnesota. But what actually happened was the assailant brandished a handgun and spread fear but was tackled by a school police officer before he was able to fire any shots.
As it turns out, the incident the NRA task force was referring to happened five years earlier at a different high school in Minnesota, Red Lake High School, where a 16-year-old student opened fire and killed seven people before taking his own life, according to a CNN report from 2005.
“[T]he original report erroneously characterized an incident in which a 16-year old attacker gained access to a locked classroom and killed six people hiding inside as having occurred at Hastings Middle School in Minnesota in 2010,” the the NRA task force’s statement said. “In fact, the tragic event as described occurred at Red Lake High School in Minnesota in 2005.”
The initial report read: “For example, in 2010 a 16-year-old attacker killed six people hiding in a locked classroom in Hastings Middle School in Minnesota by shooting and subsequently stepping through a tempered glass window that ran vertically alongside the classroom door.”
The corrected version reads: “For example, in 2005 a 16-year-old attacker killed six people hiding in a Red Lake High School in Minnesota by shooting and subsequently stepping through a tempered glass window that ran vertically alongside the classroom door.”
The NRA task force’s statement continued, “We do believe, however, that both the Red Lake High School and Hastings Middle School cases support our view that interior windows … deserve attention as part of a comprehensive look at school security.”