7th Grader to be Tried as Adult in School Shooting

MARCH 6, 2007 - Posted at 7:43 a.m. CST

CARTHAGE, Mo. (AP) - A Joplin seventh-grader will go to trial on five felony counts for firing an assault rifle at his middle school in October.

Nobody was injured, but 14-year-old Thomas White is charged as an adult with firing the gun into a ceiling and pointing it at school administrators.

Jasper County Circuit Judge Stephen Carlton ruled there's enough evidence to back up the charges and scheduled an arraignment for Friday. A trial date has not been set.

Two administrators testified in a preliminary hearing that White pointed the assault rifle directly at them.

Memorial Middle School Principal Stephen Gilbreth said he thought White was trying to fire the gun when the boy repeatedly jabbed the weapon toward him.

Police later said it had jammed after the first shot into the ceiling.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)