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LE SUEUR, Minn. (AP) — A community in rural Minnesota is reflecting on a high school shooting that took place 20 years ago, which had no fatalities.

Corey Lehnert entered Le Sueur-Henderson High School on Sept. 11, 1997, with a handgun. A teacher had overheard two students talking about Lehnert’s plans the day before, so the school was on lockdown that day and officers were on the scene.

Though Lehnert was able to shoot an officer in the head, the wound was superficial and Lehnert was disarmed. A semi-automatic rifle and ammunition were later found in his car.

Most schools in the area now have security cameras and on-site police officers, Mankato Free Press reported.

Joe Brown was the school’s principal at the time of the shooting. He said many schools now have one entrance and a check-in system for visitors.

Brown now serves as the superintendent of Fairmont Area Schools. He said while security efforts are important, the best way to prevent a shooting situation is to listen to students.

“The FBI did a profile of the school shooter, and almost universally the shooters were male and the majority of the victims were females and teachers, and Corey had targeted girls and teachers,” Brown said. “The FBI report also found that in all of these instances people knew in advance, they knew what could happen.”

Because administrators were warned in advance, the school was able to prevent any deaths from occurring, said Julie Snow, who worked as the school’s social worker in 1997.

“It changes your perspective,” Snow said. “There was this hypervigilance for a long time.”

Lehnert stood trial in 1998 and was sentenced to about 13 years in prison. He has since been released and lives in the Twin Cities area.


Information from: The Free Press,