One 17-year-old girl has died and a 17-year-old boy was critically injured after an apparently accidental shooting at Huffman High School in Birmingham, Alabama, Al.com reports. A school employee is being evaluated at the scene, but it is not clear if that staff member was shot, the newspaper reports.
According to Al.com, the male student, a 10th grader, accidentally shot the female student while he was showing off a gun to girls. He then shot himself in the abdomen while putting the gun back into his pants after shooting the girl, a source told Al.com.
The shooting happened about 3:45 p.m. as the bell was ringing at the end of the day.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. One Student Died on the Way to the Hospital, While the Other Is in Critical, but Stable Condition
The students were rushed to the hospital and one died on the way, according to Al.com.
The surviving student is in critical, but stable, condition, the newspaper reports. Police told Al.com the gun used in the shooting is believed to have been recovered.
“Right now we have a lot of unanswered questions,” Birmingham Police Chief Orlando Wilson told reporters. He said the victims were both 17.
Wilson did not provide any information about who fired the shots. He said there are security cameras inside the school and investigators will be looking at the footage.
Officials said the girl was set to graduate in May and had been accepted into college, Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin told reporters. The girl, who has not been identified, had dreams of being a nurse, Woodfin said.
2. Students Hid Under Desks & Were Put on Lockdown After the Shooting
A photo obtained by WBRC-TV shows students hiding under desks during the incident. A mother whose daughter is in the school said she was waiting outside to pick her up and her daughter texted her to say, “Mom we’re on lockdown,” according to Al.com.
The mother said she heard the victims are a male and a female, but police have not confirmed that. “I was just hoping my baby was OK, that everybody was OK,” the mother told the newspaper. “I was nervous. This is so sad.”
A student told WVTM-TV, “I heard the shot and it’s more like, ‘I gotta fear for myself now.’ And I need to get out of the school. That basically what went through my head and to make sure that my friends that they alright.
3. About 1,300 Students Attend Huffman High School
About 1,300 students are enrolled at Huffman High School, according to the school’s website.
The school is located at 950 Springville Road in Birmingham.
“Two students were involved in a shooting during dismissal today at Huffman High School,” the school district said in a statement. “The school was placed on a brief lockdown, and police were called to the scene. Students have been released and police are actively investigating the circumstances surrounding the shooting.”
The school will be open Thursday.
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin was at the scene.
U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell tweeted, “My heart is breaking tonight for those hurt and killed in the shooting today at Huffman High School. As we continue to learn more, please pray with me for the victims and their families.”
4. A Student Was Found With a Gun at Nearby Huffman Middle School in February
A gun was found at Huffman Middle School in Birmingham on February 26, Al.com reported at the time. No one was injured during that incident, but a student was taken into custody. Police searched the school after a threat was made to the school. Officers conducted wand scans of students and searched backpacks.
The middle school is located five minutes from the high school.
“Student safety and security are paramount, and we take threats to either seriously,” Birmingham Superintendent Lisa Herring said statement after that incident. “While I applaud the diligent and effective efforts of security and staff, I am concerned that a weapon was found on the premise and that we are addressing this degree of offense at the middle school level.”
She added, “Whereas a student has been detained, this reinforces our efforts to not only focus on school security but to also look comprehensively at other issues tied to gun violence, students’ well-being and other safety factors. I remain grateful to our students and parents who alerted us to this potential threat. I commend our security department for their immediate and proactive response in planning and mobilizing resources to keep our students and staff safe.”
5. A Student Was Grazed by a Bullet & a Teen Was Charged With Attempted Murder After a Shooting at the High School in 2016
In 2016, a 19-year-old was charged with attempted murder after showing up at Huffman High School following a fight involving his brother, according to WBMA-TV.
Police said Quandarius Williams recklessly fired a gun, grazing a student in the hand. The school resource officer at the Birmingham high school then fired at Williams, but he was not wounded.
“This suspect’s reckless actions endangered the lives of our students and staff but thankfully due to the courage and quick response of our officers many lives were saved,” Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper told WBRC-TV in 2016.