RICHFIELD, Minn. (AP) — A student was killed and another seriously injured in a shooting Tuesday afternoon near the front entrance of a suburban Minneapolis school, police said.
Police Chief Jay Henthorne said the students were shot outside the South Education Center in Richfield, a suburb just south of Minneapolis. The surviving student was in critical condition at a local hospital. Henthorne said the suspects fled and police searched the area.
“It’s a tragic day in the town of Richfield,” he said. He gave no further details about the students.
Richfield police arrested two suspects and recovered a handgun after executing simultaneous search warrants at two Minneapolis addresses, they announced Tuesday night.
“Officers are not looking for any additional suspects, but are continuing to process evidence related to the shooting,” police said.
The 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 pre-kindergarten. It is part of District 287, which provides services to 11 Minneapolis-area school districts as well as some students in other districts.
District 287 Superintendent Sandra Lewandowski said the students were shot near the school’s main entrance. She said parents and students met on Tuesday afternoon.
“There are no words to describe the bravery shown today by our personnel at the SEC and local authorities,” Lewandowski said. “No one should ever have to respond to a tragedy like this and we are committed to supporting the wellbeing of staff, students and family as they recover from this incident.”
Family friend Damik Bryant identified the slain student as Jamari Rice, the The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. Kris Pulford, the head football coach at Richfield High School, where Rice played as a freshman and sophomore last season, told the newspaper it was Rice’s second day at South.
“When he had things going, he was very intense, a very positive kid,” Pulford said of Rice. “He stood up for his buddies and he loved football.”
Pulford said Rice changed schools “just so he could find a place where he could be successful. Jamari had a heart. He was a good boy. »
The Star Tribune reported that police were called to the South Education Center in September after a student brought a gun in his backpack. The students alerted school staff. No one was injured in this incident.
Spokeswoman Rachel Hicks told the newspaper at the time 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. .
This story corrected the district to district 287, not 187.
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