Two students injured in Philadelphia school shooting
Members of the Philadelphia Police Department in action on Nov. 30, 2011 [AFP]

Two teenage American high school students were shot and injured Friday by a student gunman who whipped out a handgun at the end of the school day, police said.

Police said both the injured 15-year-old students, one girl and one boy, were in a stable condition in the hospital.

They said the shooter initially escaped, but a police spokeswoman later told AFP a suspect was taken into custody.

The shooting happened just before 3:30 pm (2030 GMT) at the Delaware Valley Charter High School in Philadelphia, three days after a pupil shot three people at a school in New Mexico.

The two Philadelphia students were both shot in the arm in the gym, police said.

"The school was placed on lockdown. Our SWAT team is in the process now of still clearing the school, but all the students are being released one at a time," one officer told reporters.

The motive for the attack and the identity of the suspect were not immediately disclosed.

Friday's attack was the latest in a long and frequent line of US school shootings that have inflamed a nationwide debate over gun control in the United States.

But even the December 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 young children and six adults were shot dead, ultimately failed to tighten American gun ownership rules.

[Image via Agence France-Presse]