Two shot at Los Angeles school; girl arrested: police
Police Tape (Shutterstock.com)

Two students were shot at a middle school classroom near downtown Los Angeles on Thursday morning, and a young girl was taken into custody, police said.


A 15-year-old boy who was shot in the head at Sal Castro Middle School was listed in critical but stable condition at a local hospital, and a 15-year old girl who was hit in the wrist was in stable condition, Los Angeles Police Department spokeswoman Wendy Reyes said.

Three other people had slight injuries from shrapnel from the gunfire, she said.

Preliminary indications are that the person of interest taken into custody is 12 years old, Steven Zipperman, Los Angeles school police chief, said at a news conference.

Reyes could not immediately say if the girl was a student at the school.

A gun was recovered from the scene, Los Angeles Police Lieutenant Chris Ramirez told reporters.

Police said they responded at 8:55 a.m. PST (1655 GMT) to a call that shots were being fired at the shared campus of Sal Castro Middle School and Belmont High School west of downtown.

The two campuses remained on lockdown nearly two hours after the shooting as parents stood outside hoping to be reunited with their children. But there was no longer a threat to safety, Zipperman said.

"We know this is a very traumatic incident for all the children involved, particularly inside that classroom," Zipperman said. "We will attend to the needs of these students who witnessed this, very carefully with the understanding this is very traumatic."

The shooting was the latest outbreak of gun violence at a U.S. school.

On Jan. 20, a 15-year-old boy opened fire at a high school in Benton, Kentucky, killing two students and wounding several others, authorities said.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles, Bernie Woodall in Fort Lauderdale and Suzannah Gonzales in Chicago; Editing by Andrew Hay and Lisa Von Ahn)