Tuesday 24 April 2018

'Please pray for us' - several shot at high school, parents urged not to approach campus

Deputies, federal agents and rescue personnel, converge on Great Mills High School, the scene of a shooting, Tuesday morning, March 20, 2018 in Great Mills, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon )
Deputies, federal agents and rescue personnel, converge on Great Mills High School, the scene of a shooting, Tuesday morning, March 20, 2018 in Great Mills, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon )
Police move students into a different area of Great Mills High School, the scene of a shooting, Tuesday morning, March 20, 2018 in Great Mills, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon )
Deputies and federal agents converge on Great Mills High School, the scene of a shooting, Tuesday morning, March 20, 2018 in Great Mills, Md. The shooting left at least three people injured including the shooter. Authorities said the situation is "contained." (AP Photo/Alex Brandon )
Law enforcement vehicles are seen outside the Great Mills High School following a shooting on Tuesday morning in St. Mary's County, Maryland, U.S., March 20, 2018. REUTERS/Sait Serkan Gurbuz
Law enforcement motorcade is seen near the Great Mills High School following a shooting on Tuesday morning in St. Mary's County, Maryland, U.S., March 20, 2018. REUTERS/Sait Serkan Gurbuz
Emergency services and law enforcement vehicles are seen outside the Great Mills High School following a shooting on Tuesday morning in St. Mary's County, Maryland, U.S., March 20, 2018. REUTERS/Sait Serkan Gurbuz
Emergency services and law enforcement vehicles are seen outside the Great Mills High School following a shooting on Tuesday morning in St. Mary's County, Maryland, U.S., March 20, 2018. REUTERS/Sait Serkan Gurbuz
Law enforcement vehicles are seen outside the Great Mills High School following a shooting on Tuesday morning in St. Mary's County, Maryland, U.S., March 20, 2018. REUTERS/Sait Serkan Gurbuz
Emergency services and law enforcement vehicles are seen outside the Great Mills High School following a shooting on Tuesday morning in St. Mary's County, Maryland, U.S., March 20, 2018. REUTERS/Sait Serkan Gurbuz
Emergency personnel and law enforcement officers stand outside Great Mills High School following a shooting on Tuesday morning in St. Mary's County, Maryland, U.S., March 20, 2018. REUTERS/Sait Serkan Gurbuz

Jonathan Allen and Gina Cherelus

Several people were shot at a Maryland high school on Tuesday, local news media reported, after school officials confirmed the campus was on lockdown and the incident had been "contained."

Multiple people were shot and their condition was not yet clear, ABC News reported, citing the St. Mary's County sheriff.

"Please pray for us. There was a loud sound and everyone started screaming and running," a young woman named Mollie Davis, who identified herself as a student at Great Mills High School, posted on Twitter.

The violence was the latest in a decades-long series of shootings at U.S. 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.

Police move students into a different area of Great Mills High School, the scene of a shooting, Tuesday morning, March 20, 2018 in Great Mills, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon )
Police move students into a different area of Great Mills High School, the scene of a shooting, Tuesday morning, March 20, 2018 in Great Mills, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon )

The sheriff's office confirmed the incident at Great Mills High School and urged parents in a Twitter post not to approach the campus.

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

Deputies and federal agents converge on Great Mills High School, the scene of a shooting, Tuesday morning, March 20, 2018 in Great Mills, Md. The shooting left at least three people injured including the shooter. Authorities said the situation is
Deputies and federal agents converge on Great Mills High School, the scene of a shooting, Tuesday morning, March 20, 2018 in Great Mills, Md. The shooting left at least three people injured including the shooter. Authorities said the situation is "contained." (AP Photo/Alex Brandon )

Great Mills High School is in St. Mary's County, which is about 70 miles (110 km) south of Washington.

The shooting occurred amid a re-energized national debate over school shootings in the United States following the attack on Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. It was the deadliest mass shooting at a U.S. high school.

Law enforcement vehicles are seen outside the Great Mills High School following a shooting on Tuesday morning in St. Mary's County, Maryland, U.S., March 20, 2018. REUTERS/Sait Serkan Gurbuz
Law enforcement vehicles are seen outside the Great Mills High School following a shooting on Tuesday morning in St. Mary's County, Maryland, U.S., March 20, 2018. REUTERS/Sait Serkan Gurbuz

"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.

Law enforcement motorcade is seen near the Great Mills High School following a shooting on Tuesday morning in St. Mary's County, Maryland, U.S., March 20, 2018. REUTERS/Sait Serkan Gurbuz
Law enforcement motorcade is seen near the Great Mills High School following a shooting on Tuesday morning in St. Mary's County, Maryland, U.S., March 20, 2018. REUTERS/Sait Serkan Gurbuz

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."

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

Emergency services and law enforcement vehicles are seen outside the Great Mills High School following a shooting on Tuesday morning in St. Mary's County, Maryland, U.S., March 20, 2018. REUTERS/Sait Serkan Gurbuz
Emergency services and law enforcement vehicles are seen outside the Great Mills High School following a shooting on Tuesday morning in St. Mary's County, Maryland, U.S., March 20, 2018. REUTERS/Sait Serkan Gurbuz

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.

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