14-Year-Old Found Dead In Elementary School Bathroom

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A 14-year-old boy was found dead on Jan. 9 in the bathroom of an Arizona elementary school. 

Police arrived at Coronado Elementary School in Sierra Vista, Arizona, shortly after 9:20 a.m. that morning due to reports of an active shooter in the building, according to The Arizona Republic.

Officers entered the school and found the boy in the bathroom, dead from an apparent gunshot wound. Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels said he doesn't want to call the incident a suicide until the investigation is complete. 

"It's a homicide until proven otherwise," he said. "We want to make sure we share facts with you. We're not ruling suicide until the investigation and the facts state that."

The boy has not been identified, but it is confirmed he was a student at the school which -- despite its name -- serves students between kindergarten and eighth grade. 

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A spokeswoman for the sheriff's department said police are not looking for any suspect in the boy's death.

The campus was immediately locked down following the initial active shooter reports. Following the discovery of the boy's body, classes were canceled and students evacuated to a nearby church to be picked up. 

Palominas Elementary School District Superintendent Marylotti Copeland told reporters that counselors were immediately being made available for staff at the school.

"We have a crisis team headed to the school this afternoon to meet with our staff because this is a very emotional experience for them as well as for all of the children," she said, according to KVOA.

Classes resumed the next day with the same counseling resources being offered to students.

"Our little guys didn't even know a tragedy happened," said Copeland. "They thought they got to hang out with cops today and that's all they knew. For our older students it's going to be much harder and we're going to be there for them." 

Dannels said the experience was hard for everyone, even himself and his deputies. 

"Three decades I've been doing this job and it pulls on your emotional strings what we did this morning," he said.

Amanda Griggs, the mother of a third grader at Coronado, said her son was home with a fever on Jan. 9 and learned about the death when she told him what had happened. 

"I told him what happened because he was going to hear about it at school and his only response was, 'Why?'" she said, reports The Arizona Republic. "I just told him that I didn't know and that, now, no one will ever know. He was shocked but had nothing else to say."

Sources: The Arizona Republic, KVOA / Featured Image: Yannick Bammert/Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Coronado Elementary School/Facebook, Pexels

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