GLENDALE, Ariz.— Two students were shot and killed Friday at a high school in a Phoenix suburb but the danger at the campus was over, police said, as hundreds of worried parents crowded outside nearby stores to await word on their children.
Two 15-year-old girls were shot once at Independence High School, but it was not clear what led up to their deaths, Glendale Officer Tracey Breeden told reporters. Authorities were not looking for anyone else, and a gun was found near the bodies, she said.
Breeden said the circumstances suggested the possibility of a murder-suicide or double-suicide, but no determination had been made. She had no information on the relationship between the girls, who died at the scene and were found near an administration building.
Police arrived within two minutes of being called, and the school of more than 2,000 students went on lockdown, Breeden said.
Hundreds of worried parents soon began arriving at nearby discount and convenience stores. Breeden told parents awaiting word on their kids that “your children are safe.”
Cheryl Rice said she went to a store after a friend called about the shooting and asked after Rice’s 15-year-old daughter. But the girl called as Rice arrived at the store.
“She said, ‘I’m OK,’ so I of course started crying,” Rice said.
She said it was horrible waiting for word about her child.
“You don’t know if it’s your daughter or not. You don’t know who’s being bullied. You don’t know who is being picked on. You don’t know anything. It could be anybody,” Rice said.
School district officials said parents will be bused to the school to be reunited with their children. Other students who got permission from their parents left campus on their own.
Glendale Union High School District alerted parents to the shooting through emails and automatic phone calls and released information on social media, Superintendent Brian Capistran said.
Students typically are not allowed to use their cellphones during lockdowns, but as calls from parents flooded the district, officials asked teachers to have students call family, Capistran said.
Social workers and counselors will be available to students and staff when school resumes Tuesday, the superintendent said.