Pennsylvania high school student shot dead, person of interest at large, officials say
A student at Erie High School in Pennsylvania was injured in a shooting Monday morning, and a person of interest fled, officials said.
Several shots were fired at the school shortly after 9:20 a.m., Erie Public Schools said in a statement. One student was injured but stable, the district said in the afternoon, adding that police are looking for a person of interest who fled campus.
Counselors will be available for students at a nearby arts center and the school will be closed before spring break, which begins next week, according to the district.
“We are devastated and angered by this senseless tragedy,” Erie Public Schools Superintendent Brian Polito said in a statement. “We hope for the full and speedy recovery of the student involved.
The district said in a statement more than two hours after announcing the shooting that the building was secure and there were no active threats.
In an earlier Facebook statement, Erie Public Schools urged people to “STAY AWAY FROM THE AREA UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.”
The district added that it is working to coordinate parent pickups. Buses were also available to take the children home.
“The evacuation by orderly removal will begin as soon as the district is cleared to do so by the Erie Police Department,” the school system later added.
Erie Mayor Joe Schamberr said the shooting was “very saddening.”
“Schools should be safe places where children learn and grow,” he wrote in a statement. “I know this is hard for parents to hear. But remember: all students are now safe!”
Erie Education Association president Mary Theuerkauf chastised the school district for not having safety measures in place.
“For years, we have required the administration of the City of Erie School District and school principals to confront the multitude of security threats our staff have presented to them. Each time, we are told: “it will take time, we are working on it”, she wrote in a press release, according to Erie News Now.
“No bureaucracy is worth a human life. We will not sit idly by another day until the safety of our students and staff is properly addressed,” she said.