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'Unique and unusual' for middle school shooter to be female, says former deputy chief

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Thursday’s shooting at Rigby Middle School in Idaho combined two very rare elements, age and gender. (KUTV)

Thursday’s shooting at Rigby Middle School in Idaho combined two very rare elements, age and gender.

Police say the shooter was a female sixth-grade student, two things almost never seen in shootings that injure multiple people.

It's "very unique and unusual,” says former deputy police chief Chris Bertram, who also teaches law enforcement and has a private investigator consulting business.

Bertram says the investigators involved in this case will most likely look at what was going on in the alleged shooter's life, psychologically and physically.

“What was going on 12 hours, 24 hours — you know, we're going to go back a week, a month, a year and it's going to paint a picture,” Bertram said.

The shooting could act as a warning for anyone who might say girls don't do things like this.

“We don't ever wish our kids to fail or have problems, but we also have to be cognizant that some of those red flags we may be seeing need to be properly addressed,” Bertram said.

Child psychologist Dr. Douglas Goldsmith says females can get physical during bullying, but says this level of violence is not normal.

It is very shocking and concerning that it was a young girl, because that is very unusual. Women don't take lethal means very often," Goldsmith said.

Goldsmith says younger generations are growing up with higher levels of overall frustrations and higher suicide rates, and there's plenty of research to show that in the presence of guns, all people are more likely to use guns.

“When people are in general feeling angry, and there's a gun there, the likelihood of using that gun to create mayhem is increased,” Goldsmith said.

READ MORE: Home in Idaho Falls searched in connection with middle school shooting

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