Harrisburg school shooter violates probation, sentenced to 10 years in prison

Published: Apr. 19, 2023 at 9:17 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - After his case was reopened due to a probation violation, Mason Buhl has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Buhl, who is now 23, was charged with violating his probation in July of 2021 with a domestic simple assault charge. On Tuesday, Judge Rachel Rasmussen reimposed Buhl’s original sentence of 25 years in prison with 15 years suspended and a chance of parole. Buhl was taken into custody immediately to begin serving a 10-year sentence in the State Penitentiary.

In 2015, Buhl brought a gun to Harrisburg High School and shot principal Kevin Lein in the arm. Buhl, who was a student at the time, was tackled and restrained by two other Harrisburg High School staff members.

Buhl pled guilty to attempted murder in 2017 in exchange for a plea deal with state prosecutors. His charge of commissioning a felony armed with a firearm was dropped. Judge Bradley Zell originally sentenced Buhl to 25 years. The sentence was suspended with 15 years supervised probation, which means that Buhl did not have to spend time behind bars.

In 2017, Lein told Dakota News Now that he “forgave Mason immediately” after the shooting. Buhl’s attorney Mike Butler told the judge that doctors said Buhl suffered from major depressive disorder and the shooting was a single episode.

When determining his 2017 verdict, Judge Zell thought that Buhl had the potential to be rehabilitated and he didn’t think prison or juvenile detention would be appropriate for him, but Buhl’s suspended sentence could be revoked at any time if the judge believed Buhl entered into violent behavior again.

Buhl was given credit for 702 days served.