‘It floored me’: Stoughton mother claims daughter was shot with gel gun while walking home from school

STOUGHTON, Wis. — The parent of a Stoughton middle school student said she wasn’t sure it would be safe to send her daughter to class this week after a former student shot the girl and her friends with a gel gun while they were walking home.

In an interview with News 3 Now on Friday, Nicole Ehr described what her daughter claims happened while she and a group of friends left River Bluff Middle School. A former Stoughton middle school student, she said, shot them with a gel gun while wearing a ski mask.

“She said it was very scary, and she was obviously traumatized and had tears in her eyes when she was telling me this story, and I was just… in shock,” Ehr said.

While the recent school shooting in Texas that left 19 students and two teachers dead is fresh in mind, Ehr said other events in Stoughton months ago have given her pause.

“Especially with everything going on right now, it floored me. It made me reconsider if I could send my daughter to school the next day,” she said.

She pointed to an email the school sent to parents in December referencing “a threat made by a student.” Ehr believes that student was expelled and that it was the same student who targeted her daughter this week.

“Somebody could really get hurt, and who is to say where this child goes next?” she asked. “I’m not blaming this child or this family, but something needs to be done to help this kid.”

When Ehr reached out to school officials, she claims they told her the incident is a police matter since it happened off school property. She then reached out to police.

“The answer that we get is that it is not a credible threat,” she said. “The police have determined it is not a credible threat. At what point in time is it a credible threat?”

The Stoughton Police Department did not respond to a request for comment.

In a message sent to district families Friday, Interim District Administrator Dr. Kate Ahlgren said school officials are limited in what information they can share due to student confidentiality but did say staff “quickly intervened.”

Read the district’s full message below:

Dear Families,

Recently, we became aware of events on and near the Kegonsa School playground and across the street from the River Bluff campus. Both events occurred shortly after the end of the school day. The incidents involved some of our students, a squirt gun and a soft water bead gel toy blaster gun that can cause injury. School staff quickly intervened to address the situation.

It has come to our attention that there may be some inaccurate information circulating in our community and in the media regarding these incidents.

Please know that the Stoughton Area School District is conducting investigations in collaboration with local law enforcement. Any student disciplinary action taken will be in alignment with district policy. We cannot share further details at this time due to our legal obligation to protect student confidentiality.

We want our community to know that the safety and security of our schools remains our number one priority. We encourage all students to notify a teacher or staff member if they see or hear anything that could potentially impact the safety of our students and schools.

Thank you for your attention to this important update.


Dr. Kate Ahlgren
Interim District Administrator
Stoughton Area School District