Police: 2 bullets in high school in Virginia, suspect in custody


People embrace outside Heritage High School as Newport News Police are on hand to respond to a shooting on Monday, September 20, 2021 in Newport News, Va. (Jonathon Gruenke / The Virginian-Pilot via AP)

People embrace outside Heritage High School as Newport News Police are on hand to respond to a shooting on Monday, September 20, 2021 in Newport News, Va. (Jonathon Gruenke / The Virginian-Pilot via AP)

PA

Two students were injured in a high school shooting in Virginia and a suspect is in custody, police said Monday.

A 17-year-old boy was shot in the face at Heritage High School and a 17-year-old girl was shot in the leg, Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew said during a press conference. The two were taken to hospital and neither injury was considered life threatening, he said.

A boy has been taken into custody in the case, police said in a statement. The chief said authorities believed the suspect and the victims knew each other but did not provide details. The firearm was found at the scene of the shooting, he said.

“The motive certainly interests me,” Drew said in a briefing without giving further details. The suspect was not apprehended at the school, he said.

George Parker, superintendent of public schools for Newport News, said the high school was conducting random searches for firearms. Classes resumed on September 8, so students were in their second full week of the school year.

“No superintendent, teacher or principal would want to go through this situation,” Parker said. “Just seeing the faces of our students and how scared they were under these circumstances, and our staff, who are traumatized. … No one would want to go through these circumstances. “

Video from the scene showed tactical units arriving at the scene, parents on the sidewalks talking on cell phones as the crime scene tape spanned parts of the school parking lot.

Drew said two other people were taken to hospital after the shooting: one whose arm was injured as people ran away from school and another because of asthma. Reports of active shooters at other schools were false, police said.

Freshman Devin Gray said he was returning to cafeteria class with a friend when he heard what sounded like a gunshot, The Virginian-Pilot reported.

“We all looked in confusion and then we heard three continuous gunshots,” Gray said. “We all ran.”

An emergency exit door he tried was locked, so he ran to a classroom and hid under a desk with about 20 other people and they blocked the door with shelves.

Elder Dominic Banks was also leaving the cafeteria and thought the first shot was a slammed classroom door. Banks was able to run outside.

“It’s very disappointing,” Banks said. “Everyone in life here has just been put in danger because of a student who wants to bring a gun to school. “


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