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By The Associated Press
MOKANE, Mo. — A fifth-grader walked out of class and went on a crime spree, stealing weapons from a central Missouri farm and shooting at three people who tried to confront him, wounding a school official, authorities said Thursday.
School staff alerted authorities when the 11-year-old boy never returned to class for a bathroom break and could not be found on campus Wednesday afternoon, South Callaway Superintendent Dustin Storm said.
Callaway County Sheriff Dennis Crane told the Columbia Daily Tribune the boy had walked a mile to a hog farm, where he stole several weapons from a building.
When he was confronted by the landowner and a neighbor, the boy shot at the two men but missed, the sheriff said.
He then shot Donnie Debrodie, the school district's transportation director, who was out looking for him, the school superintendent said. Debrodie, who was shot in the wrist, was treated and ''doing very well'' Thursday, Storm said.
The schools in the Mokane district, which has 950 students in K-12, were locked down immediately after Debrodie notified the district that he had been shot, Storm said.
The boy was arrested after he crashed a stolen a pickup truck into a ditch on a county road just west of Mokane, the sheriff said. He was arrested on suspicion of first-degree assault, first-degree burglary, two counts of felony stealing and armed criminal action.
It was not clear what motive the boy, who was not identified, might have had. He was being held at the juvenile justice center in Columbia.
Crane was not available for questions Thursday, according to his office.
Storm said the boy had not had any major discipline issues at school. Crane said the sheriff's department had dealt with him on a few runaway complaints.
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Mokane is about 90 miles west of St. Louis.