BALTIMORE, Md. - A student was shot and critically wounded on the first day of classes at a Baltimore County high school Monday and police said a suspect was quickly taken into custody.
County police said the wounded Perry Hall High School student was flown to a hospital. The 17-year-old male student was in critical condition at Maryland Shock Trauma Center, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Officials say the shooter, a 15-year-old male, was taken into custody. They say the firearm used in the shooting has also been recovered. Students claiming to witness the incident say a teacher restrained the suspect. Police confirm the heroic act of a male teacher.
Students were escorted to Perry Hall Shopping Center at the corner of Ebenezer Road and Belair Road. Students were also taken to the fields behind Perry Hall Middle School located at 4300 Ebenezer Road. Students riding buses were dismissed from that location.
Investigators say the shooting was a random act. It reportedly happened in the school cafeteria at 10:45 a.m. Officials say they believe the shooter was in the cafeteria and being teased.
Several roads in the area were blocked in response to the incident, and the school was been placed on lockdown. Officers with the US Marshals and the Maryland State Police were called in to help manage the incident.
Parents on the scene say they have heard the shooting suspect was armed with a shotgun. They also say they have been told the suspect left the school and came back with a gun. Scripps sister station ABC2 in Baltimore has yet to confirm that information.
According to a release from the Baltimore County Police Department, one student, a 17-year-old male, was shot and taken to a local hospital by helicopter. The victim is currently in critical condition, according to hospital officials. Students claiming to witness the incident say the gunman appeared to be shooting at a table of special needs students.
As school administrators responded to the shooting, classrooms were locked, darkened and students were told to get on the floor. ABC2 news interviewed Traci Graft, a parent of a student at the school who confirmed the response.
Graft said today has been one of the scariest days of her life.
"I couldn't get here fast enough," she said.
A junior at Perry Hall High School, who identified herself as Leslie, said students in class at first thought the day's incident was a drill. But, they found out quickly something very real was happening.
"...It was more serious than that," Leslie said.
Leslie said students knew things were real, because they could hear the nervousness in the voices of administrators as they provided instructions.
Perry Hall Middle School was also dismissed early in response to the incident.
About 2,200 students attend Perry Hall High School.
Copyright AP Modified, Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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