DENVER: Multiple students were hurt on Tuesday in a shooting at a Denver area school, the local sheriff said, and two people were taken into custody as authorities searched for a possible third suspect.
Deputies from the Douglas County Sheriff’s office responded to reports of a shooting at a science and technology school in the community of Highlands Ranch, 40 kilometres (25 miles) south of Denver, shortly before 2:00 PM Mountain Time (2000 GMT), the sheriff’s office said on Twitter.
In the latest update on Twitter, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said: “7 possibly 8 students have been injured. Two shooters in custody.
“SWAT still clearing school. Students were bused to Northridge Rec Center. Parents, please have patience with reunification process,” it added.
Earlier, a sheriff’s office spokesperson said in a brief news conference that “multiple students” had been hurt and that two suspects had been arrested. She said law enforcement officers were searching for a possible third suspect.
A man who called into local KOA radio told the station that his son was in a classroom when two people armed with guns burst in and opened fire, wounding two students. The father said that students were able to disarm the shooters.
A student who was not identified told Denver station KUSA-TV outside the school after the shooting that the violence had left him “a bit shaky” and “scared,” but “glad that I didn’t get hurt.”
The school, which combines elementary, middle and high school on one campus has 1,850 students enrolled, according to the district.
The sheriff’s department directed parents to go to a nearby recreation centre to pick up their children.
Local television showed dozens of police and fire vehicles surrounding the school as deputies conducted a room-by-room search of the campus.
The Denver Post reported that all schools in the area were placed on lockdown while police and fire crews responded to the scene.
The gun violence in Colorado came one week to the day after a 22-year-old gunman opened fire on the Charlotte campus of the University of North Carolina, killing two people and wounding four others before the gunman was disarmed and arrested.