S.D. student accused of shooting principal to be tried as adult

Cops: Principal shot in school shooting
Cops: Principal shot in school shooting

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Story highlights

  • Mason Buhl, 16, is charged with attempted murder, committing a felony while armed
  • He allegedly got into an altercation with his high school principal, shot him in elbow

(CNN)A 16-year-old accused of shooting his high school principal this week will be tried as an adult on a charge of first-degree attempted murder, a South Dakota prosecutor said Friday.

Mason Buhl also is charged with commission of a felony while armed in Wednesday's shooting, Lincoln County State's Attorney Tom Wollman said.
Under South Dakota law, anyone who is age 16 or older and facing a felony must stand trial as an adult.
    A judge has ordered that Buhl be held without bail in a juvenile detention center. A not guilty plea was entered, according to CNN Affiliate KSFY.
    The teenager was quiet, respectful as he responded to questions during his initial court hearing Thursday, according to Wollman. The judge nonetheless determined that Buhl could be a danger to the public or himself if released, officials said.
    The student allegedly went into the main office at Harrisburg High School near Sioux Falls and got into some kind of disagreement with its principal, Kevin Lein, according to Sioux Falls police Officer Sam Clemens.
    A student shot and injured  Harrisburg High School principal Kevin Lein.
    At some point in the ensuing physical struggle, the teen allegedly took out a firearm and fired one shot.
    It might have been a lot worse, district Superintendent Jim Holbeck said, if an assistant principal and the school's athletic director hadn't quickly tackled the shooter and kept him pinned down until authorities arrived.
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    Lein, who was hit in the elbow, was treated and released from a nearby hospital.
    "It's a shame that for years schools have been trying to prepare for this and you hope it doesn't happen in your back yard," said Holbeck.