Student Fires Shot in Joplin Middle School

OCTOBER 9, 2006 - Posted at 11:10 a.m. CDT

JOPLIN, MO - Authorities say a 13-year-old brought an AK-47 to his Joplin, Missouri, school and fired it this morning, but no one was hurt.

Authorities say the student wore a mask and pointed the assault rifle at the principal, an assistant superintendent and two students, pleading "Please don't make me do this."

The superintendent says the teenager fired a shot into the ceiling and broke a water pipe.  But administrators talked him into leaving the building, and police were waiting outside with weapons drawn.

The incident forced about 700 students to leave the school to wait for frightened parents to pick them up.

The superintedent calls it a "very close call."

Joplin is a city of about 41,000 in southwest Missouri.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)