International desk: A gunman has died and two students are critically injured after a shooting at a high school in Maryland, Sky News reports.
Great Mills High School confirmed an attack in their school just 8am (12pm GMT) on Tuesday, and said a gunman entered the school and shot two people before being “engaged by the school resource officer”.
County Sheriff Timothy Cameron said the resource officer is the one who wounded the gunman, but was not injured or struck with a bullet himself.
St Mary’s County Sheriff’s spokesman Julie Yingling said there were no fatalities, and confirmed three people had been shot, one of them the gunman.
All three were taken to hospital where two remain in a “critical condition” but are stable. The gunman died at about 10.41am EST (2.41pm GMT).
The gunman shot one male student and one female student.
Witnesses are in a secure area and the other students have been taken out of the school and sent to the reunification centre on buses.County Sheriff Timothy Cameron said: “We don’t know the relationship; we don’t know the motivation.
“You train to respond to this and you hope that you never ever have to. This is the realisation of your worst nightmare.”
A St Mary’s County Public School spokesman said: “The building is orderly and the Sheriff’s Office is conducting an investigation.”
Mollie Davis, a student at the school, tweeted: “Hi Twitter. I am in Great Mills HS. My school is on a very real lockdown threat and there’s already someone possibly dead. Please pray for us.
“You never think it’ll be your school and then it is. Great Mills is a wonderful school and somewhere I am proud to go. Why us?”She later added: “I am safe. The police came to my classroom and saw us to the bathroom and back and said we would be leaving soon.”
St Mary’s County sheriff’s office told parents not to go to the school, but to report to nearby Leonardtown High School.
Jonathan Freese, a student at the school, spoke to CNN from inside his Maths classroom. He said the incident happened around 8am (12pm GMT), almost as soon as school had started.
He said: “I’ve heard one person got hurt trying to get the gun.
“I’m a little shaken up. I didn’t think it would really happen. It happened in the art hallway.”I’m surprised I didn’t (hear gunshots).
“Police are checking on students and seeing if they are safe and we are going to be escorted out. We are told to leave our stuff.
“The police have responded really quickly.”
He said they had completed training for the event of a gunman in school.
He said: “I know I’m safe. Everyone responded, I heard sirens within five minutes.”
The county public schools’ tweeted: “There has been a Shooting at Great Mills High School. The school is on lock down the event is contained, the Sheriff’s office is on the scene additional information to follow.”
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said: “We are closely monitoring the situation at Great Mills High School. @MDSP is in touch with local law enforcement and ready to provide support. Our prayers are with students, school personnel, and first responders.”The school has faced threats of a shooting in the past, and just last month, the principal Jake Heibel told parents a threat was “not substantiated”.
Three years ago the school was evacuated and every locker searched after a hoax call was made threatening the school.
Previous threats are going to be examined as part of the investigation.
According to the Baltimore Sun, St. Mary’s Ryken High School, a private school about 15 minutes away from Great Mills, has gone into lockdown.