A heavily armed 14-year-old boy shot and killed his headmaster inside a crowded junior high cafeteria today, then killed himself.
The shootings happened about 15 minutes before the start of classes at the Red Lion Area Junior High School, about 30 miles from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
The boy had multiple weapons and fired at least two shots with a handgun, said Police Chief Walt Hughes.
The headmaster, identified by school district officials as Dr Gene Segro, was pronounced dead when he arrived at hospital, police said.
Dr Segro had been at the school for more than a decade and was believed to be in his early 50s, said Terry Robinson, the school district’s business manager.
Neither Robinson nor Hughes was aware of any recent turmoil or student suspensions at the school.
“There’s a lot of things we don’t know right now,” Hughes said.
Police and school superintendent Larry Macaluso declined to name the teenager, but said he was not known for disciplinary problems. They did not know of any disputes between the student and Dr Segro.
Other students said the principal was well-liked.
“He was fair and wasn’t mean to anyone,” said seventh-grader Matt Templeton, who was by the lockers when students started running from the cafeteria.
“Everyone ran out of the cafeteria yelling ’He has a gun,”’ said eighth-grader Danny Dulin.
The school’s 875 students were taken to the nearby senior high school after the shooting, and officials planned to dismiss them for the day, as well as students from the high school and a nearby elementary school, Robinson said.
Patrick McFadden, executive director of York County’s Department of Emergency Services, said the student shot himself, but Hughes said the circumstances of the shooting were still under investigation.
The same school district was the site of a machete attack on a kindergarten class that injured a principal, two teachers and 11 of the 23 pupils in 2001.
A Tennessee man angry about his divorce and allegations he had molested his stepdaughters pleaded guilty to the attack and was sentenced to 132 to 264 years in prison.