Pair shot in US high school gym

Last updated 14:14 18/01/2014

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A teenage boy and a girl hanging out with a group of fellow students in a school gym in Philadelphia were shot Friday afternoon (NZT Saturday), and up to three boys may have been involved in the shooting, police say.

One boy fled and was captured near his home, and one or two other boys were being sought, they said.

The shooting happened at the Delaware Valley Charter High School in north Philadelphia around 3pm, authorities said. The pair were wounded and taken to hospital.

It was the second US school shooting this week. Authorities said a 12-year-old boy opened fire Tuesday in a New Mexico middle school gym, wounding two classmates.

Surveillance video from the Philadelphia shows a group of about seven students hanging around in the gym when the shooting happened, police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said. It was unclear if the shooting was accidental or intentional.

The wounded boy and girl each were shot in an arm, but it was unclear whether one or two shots were fired, Ramsey said.

The wounded students, believed to be 15-years-old, were taken to a hospital near the school, where they were listed in stable condition, police said.

The boy who was captured lives in south Philadelphia and may have driven or taken a bus home after the shooting, Ramsey said. No gun was recovered, he said.

''We have not found a gun, but there's two, perhaps three, youngsters that were together,'' Ramsey said.

''We're not sure which one fired. One of the ones that we have was part of that group.''

He said they were all boys and all students at the school.

Ramsey didn't know what staffing or security procedures were in place at the school but said ''there was a breakdown in security of some kind'' because the gun got into the building.

Former student Donte Jenkins, who graduated last year, said there were metal detectors at the entrance and he couldn't figure out how someone could have gotten in with a gun.

''It was always a safe environment,'' said Jenkins, 19.

''It was never a bad environment. I don't know how this really happened.''

The school was placed on lockdown and secured by SWAT officers checking each room. Students were searched and released one by one.

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- AP

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