RICHFIELD, Minn.—Two students were shot, one fatally, outside a suburban Minneapolis school on Tuesday, police said.
Richfield Police Chief Jay Henthorne said the students were shot about 12:07 p.m. outside South Education Center. The surviving student was in critical condition at a local hospital. Henthorne said suspects fled and police searched the area.
“This is a tragic day in the city of Richfield,” he said.
South Education Center has about 200 students, according to its website, which describes it as a school that offers special education programs and an alternative high school, with students as young as prekindergarten.
District 287 Superintendent Sandra Lewandowski said the students were shot near the school’s front entrance. She said parents and students were being reunited Tuesday afternoon.
Nearby Richfield Middle School sent a message to parents telling them that police, with weapons drawn, and emergency medical workers had shown up at the school by mistake in response to an emergency call from South Education Center. The message said the call had nothing to do with the middle school.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that police had been called to the school in September after a male student brought a gun in his backpack. Students alerted school staff. No one was hurt in that incident.
Spokeswoman Rachel Hicks told the newspaper then that South had phased out metal detectors at school entrances. The district had also in recent years removed school resource officers and replaced them with student safety coaches to focus on building relationships and working on mental health issues, Hicks told the newspaper.