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Two people taken to hospital after shooting at Virginia high school

The Hill logo The Hill 9/20/2021 Alexandra Kelley
Two people taken to hospital after shooting at Virginia high school © (carlballou/iStock) Two people taken to hospital after shooting at Virginia high school

Police in Newport News, Va., said a suspect is in custody after two people suffered gunshot wounds Monday at a local high school.

The Newport News Police Department said in a statement that the shooting occurred at Heritage High School.

The two individuals were taken to a hospital with what appeared to be non-life-threatening injuries, authorities said.

In a press conference, Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew confirmed that both victims were 17 years old. A male victim was shot in the side of the face, while a female one reportedly suffered a gunshot wound in her lower leg.

Two other individuals suffered injuries unrelated to gunshot wounds, police said. Heritage High School has since been fully evacuated.

Police confirmed later in the afternoon that one individual identified as a male juvenile has been taken into custody. His age and name were not revealed, and oher key components of the shooting are still under investigation.

"It is believed that the suspect is known to the victims," Drew told reporters earlier.

Local news outlets reported that the nearby Achievable Dream Academy had been placed on lockdown, but police later said there are no active shooters.

"There have been reports that there are active shooters at other schools in the city. That information is false," police said in a statement, adding that the investigation is ongoing.

The Hill has reached out to Newport News police for further comment.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) tweeted a statement saying that he and his team "are in close contact" with law enforcement responding to the shooting.

He requested that people follow the guidance of first responders in the area.

Gun safety advocacy group Everytown has counted 43 incidents of shootings on school grounds so far in 2021, excluding Monday's incident in Newport News. Twelve people have been killed from these events.

2019 saw a greater number of incidents, with 130 reports of shootings on school properties, a trend likely interrupted by the COVID-19 shutdowns, which kept students at home. In 2020, 84 instances of gunfire on school grounds were reported.

Updated at 3:25 p.m.

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