Sunday 17 December 2017

Two shot dead in 'domestic dispute' at US school

Police stand watch over students as multiple law enforcement agencies respond to a fatal shooting at North Park Elementary school in San Bernardino, California. Photo: Rick Sforza/Los Angeles Daily News via AP
Police stand watch over students as multiple law enforcement agencies respond to a fatal shooting at North Park Elementary school in San Bernardino, California. Photo: Rick Sforza/Los Angeles Daily News via AP

Christopher Weber

Two adults were killed and two students critically wounded in an apparent murder-suicide inside a California primary school that spread panic across a city still recovering emotionally from a terror attack at a community centre just 15 months ago.

One of those killed was a teacher and the other was the suspected shooter who opened fire in a classroom at North Park School in San Bernardino.

A school official said the attack was believed to stem from a "domestic dispute" and that the teacher knew the gunman.

The two wounded students were flown to a hospital where they were listed in critical condition.

"The children we do not believe were targeted. The suspect had come to the classroom to visit," police Capt. Ron Maass said.

Panicked

The 600 other students at the school were bused to safety at California State University's San Bernardino campus, several kilometres away.

As word of the shooting spread, panicked parents raced to the school. They were told to go to a nearby high school where they would be reunited with their children.

As the buses pulled away, some parents raced frantically alongside, waving and trying to recognise their children inside.

Many said their children were too young to have mobile phones.

Others said the phones just rang unanswered.

"I just wish I could talk to them to make sure they're OK because they don't know what this is all about," one parent said.

One local woman, Marina Ramos, said she rushed to the school to try to pick up her grandson.

She said she spoke to him, and he was safe.

"He was crying. He's scared," she said. "It was a typical morning and then chaos broke out."

San Bernardino, a city of 216,000 people about 100km east of Los Angeles, was the site of a December 2015 terror attack that killed 14 people and wounded 22 others at a meeting of San Bernardino County employees.

Husband-and-wife shooters Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik were later killed in a gunbattle with authorities.

Irish Independent

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