People embrace outside Heritage High School as Newport News Police are on scene responding to a shooting incident Monday, Sept. 20, 2021 in Newport News, Va.
– Jonathon Gruenke/The Virginian-Pilot via AP
Two teenage students were wounded in a shooting at a Virginia high school, say police.
A 17-year-old boy was shot in the face and a 17-year-old girl suffered a bullet wound to the leg after violence broke out at Heritage High School in Newport News, Virginia.
Both students were transported to hospital and neither of the injuries are thought to be life-threatening, according to the city’s police chief Steve Drew.
The alleged shooter, a juvenile male, was taken into custody, and authorities say they believe the suspect knew both of his victims.
Chief Drew said there was “some type of altercation” that sparked the incident on Monday, but did not say whether the suspect was also a student at the school.
“I don’t believe that this is an individual that is searching the community to hurt members,” added chief Drew.
As the shooting unfolded the school building was evacuated, and FBI agents and state troopers searched for anyone remaining inside.
Authorities said that any reports of active shooters at other schools in the area were false.
Two other people needed hospital treatment, one with an arm injury suffered as people ran out of the school, and another who suffered an asthma attack.
George Parker, superintendent of Newport News Public Schools, said the high school, which is in its second full week of the school year, does perform random searches for guns.
“No superintendent, no teacher or principal would want to ever go through this situation,” said Mr Parker.
“Just seeing the faces of our students and how afraid they were under these circumstances, and out staff, who are traumatized… No one would want to through these circumstances.”
He added that the school would go virtual for several days and pupils would not return until the incident had been reviewed.
“That will not happen until we have discussed this matter and looked at better ways to ensure something like this never happens again,” he said.
Video from the scene showed tactical units arriving at the scene, parents on sidewalks talking on cellphones as crime scene tape stretched across portions of the school parking lot.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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