Colorado school shooting leaves two wounded, one dead
Two Colorado high school students were wounded today when a teenager armed with a shotgun barged into the building "military style" with the intention of shooting one of the school's teachers and fired at the fleeing educator.
The gunman was later found dead with what police believed was a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The two wounded students, one a girl in critical condition, were taken to a hospital.
The gunman, a student at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo., entered the school just after 12:30 p.m., asking students where to find a specific teacher, according to police.
"It was clear that he was armed with shotgun, no effort to hide or conceal it," said Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson. The sheriff said the gunman and the teacher clearly had a relationship. The degree has yet to be determined."
The school's custodian saw the gunman enter the building carrying a shotgun slung over his shoulder.
"I did see a young man...entering the building, running kind of military style and I looked and I double looked and [he was carrying a] shotgun," Fabian Llerenas told ABC News affiliate KMGH-TV.
Walking the halls calling out the teacher's name, the gunman found the teacher in the school's library. When the man saw the student he fled and the gunman took a shot at him.
"So when he did that he took one shot at him and missed his head, and he said he felt the wind just go up and down," Llerenas said. The custodian then helped the teacher escape in his truck, after the man helped evacuate students.
Police initially said one of the students was wounded while confronting the gunman, but Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said it was no longer clear how the students got shot.
One of the students was a female who is in serious condition and undergoing surgery. The second was taken to a nearby hospital with a minor wound.
As shots rang out, the school was immediately placed on lockdown, with teachers dimming the lights and locking their classroom doors.
"I was in math and it happened three classrooms away," said student Berny Acosta from a nearby church where evacuated students assembled.
"There was a first shot and it happened from a classroom, and then I heard three or four more. There was a shot and then a pause and then four continuous shots. We went immediately into lockdown.... Turned all the lights off, got as far from the windows and doors as we could," Acosta told ABC News.
"I saw blood on the ground of the study center when evacuated. That's where there was a lot of blood on the ground. That's where the ambulance carried people out from," he said.
Within minutes, police were on the scene looking for the gunman.
The school is part of the Littleton school district and is just a few miles from Columbine High School, the scene of one of the country's worst school massacres, in which 15 people, including two teenage gunmen, were killed.
The shooting also took place on the eve of the first anniversary of the Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, Conn., in which 27 people - most of them first graders - were killed.
In a scene that was eerily reminiscent of the Columbine tragedy, hundreds of students could be seen fleeing the school and then approaching police with their hands up to be searched.
Police said they had located a "device" in the school, believed to be a Molotov cocktail. Investigators are questioning the gunman's family and acquaintances but said they do not believe there are others suspects.
Police are searching the student's locker and his home. They know his identity but have not yet made it public.
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