A woman and a teenage girl have been killed after a gunman broke into a high school in St. Louis, Missouri.
Six others were hospitalized with gunshot wounds and others were hit by shrapnel, according to police.
The gunman, described as a man in his 20s, was shot dead by police.
On Monday morning, just after 9 a.m., gunfire began to sound at the city’s Central High School for the Visual and Performing Arts.
Hundreds of students and staff were forced to barricade themselves in classrooms, jumping from windows and fleeing the building for safety.
Police Chief Mike Sack said security at the school panicked when the gunman tried to enter the locked building.
He said that after the gunman opened fire, police “ran to the gun, found the gunman, and exchanged fire with the gunman,” killing him.
Mr Sack declined to name the victim or say whether the woman killed was a teacher.
The FBI has since said in a statement that there is no longer a “direct threat” to the school.
face to face with the murderer
A 16-year-old student, Taniya Gholston, told local newspaper St Louis Post-Dispatch she was in a room when the gunman entered.
“I only heard two shots and he came in with a gun,” she said. “And I tried to run, but I couldn’t.
“I made eye contact with him and I made it because his gun was stuck. But we saw blood on the floor.”
Another student, Nylah Jones, said she was in a maths class when the gunman opened fire from the hallway into the room. She was rescued because the gunman was unable to break into the classroom.
The Central Visual and Performing Arts High School specializes in the arts and has approximately 400 students.