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US: Student opens fire in Maryland high school, killed

The Great Mills High School shooter, who injured two students, has been wounded himself. All three are in critical condition.

world Updated: Mar 20, 2018 23:56 IST
HT Correspondent
Deputies and federal agents converge on Great Mills High School, the scene of a shooting, on Tuesday.
Deputies and federal agents converge on Great Mills High School, the scene of a shooting, on Tuesday. (AP)

A student opened fire at a high school in the US state of Maryland on Tuesday, hitting two fellow students and exchanging fire with a security officer before being killed.

The shooting took place Great Mills High School in St Mary’s County — about 200 km south of Washington — shortly after classes started at 8 am. Local police initially said three students, including the shooter, were critically injured. The shooter later died in hospital.

Sheriff Tim Cameron said the shooter had exchanged fire with the school resource officer — an armed police officer assigned to the school — but added investigations will determine how the gunman was shot. The school resource officer was not injured, the sheriff added.

The public school’s roughly 1,600 students were later escorted off campus by police, classroom by classroom.

The victims and the shooter had not been identified.

The violence was the latest in a decades-long series of shootings at US schools and colleges, coming a little more than a month after 17 students and faculty were killed in a rampage at a Florida high school.

Read: Florida school shooting: Easy access to guns raises questions

Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were heading to the school, the agencies said.

“You never think it’ll be your school and then it is,” Mollie Davis wrote on Twitter. “Great Mills is a wonderful school and somewhere I am proud to go. Why us?”

Following the shooting, she exchanged messages on Twitter with students from Stoneman Douglas High School, saying their activism had inspired her to spearhead a walkout against gun violence at her school. A few Parkland students expressed their sympathy and told her to be safe.

Emma Gonzalez, a senior at Stoneman Douglas High School who survived last month’s shootings, wrote on Twitter, “We are here for you, students of Great Mills, together we can stop this from ever happening again.”

Read: Florida school shooting: Video shows students hiding in class, yelling ‘oh my god’ as gunman opens fire

The shooting came four days before the March For Our Lives — partly organised by student survivors of the Parkland rampage — takes place in Washington to urge lawmakers to pass tighter gun control laws.

A student who said his name was Jonathan Freese said in a telephone interview on CNN that he had been on lockdown with classmates for nearly an hour, but he did not hear gunshots himself. The interview ended as police came to his classroom door.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said he was monitoring events at the school. “Our prayers are with students, school personnel, and first responders,” he said in a statement.

(With inputs from Agencies)