AT LEAST two pupils, including a suspected gunman, have been killed in a shooting at a high school in the US state of Washington.
It is believed four others have been injured, with three of them in a critical condition.
Two people died in the shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Washington, about 35 miles north of Seattle.
The gunman was a student and reportedly died from a self-inflicted gunshot.
Police responded to calls reporting shots at the school at around 10:45am yesterday.
An official from Marysville police has confirmed that two people, including the gunman, have died.
Four patients arrived at the Providence Regional Medical Centre in Everett just after noon local time. Three of the injured students were undergoing emergency surgery last night, said a spokeswoman for the hospital.
“They’re all critical. And they’re all young,” she said.
The fourth patient, who was confirmed to be a male pupil from Marysville-Pilchuck, was transferred to another medical centre in Seattle. His condition was being evaluated.
Officers said they believed the boy had acted alone but the school would be kept under lockdown until a thorough investigation had taken place.
“We are confident that there was only one shooter and that the shooter is deceased but we do need to clear each building and make sure that was the case,” said Marysville Police Commander Robb Lamoureux.
Authorities said they did not yet know what may have motivated the attacker and declined to release the suspect’s identity.
A girl inside a classroom told TV reporters by phone that the shooting had begun in the school cafeteria.
It is believed the gunman climbed on to a table in the cafeteria before opening fire.
The girl, who was not named, said students initially thought it was a fire drill until teachers told everyone to run into classrooms.
The student said she was forced to hide in a classroom with other students, all of whom were unharmed.
Dwayne, a junior at the high school, was in the cafeteria when the shooting began.
“I am so scared. I had just run into the lunch room,” he said. “I grabbed my lunch and, as I was walking out, I heard four like [banging noises],” he added.
“I thought someone was kicking the door or something, and then everyone was running out.”
Local television footage filmed at the scene shows pupils fleeing from school buildings and crossing a sports field with their hands in the air as officers with rifles run across the yard.
President Barack Obama was briefed about the situation.
The latest shooting incident follows the killing of one student and wounding of two others at Seattle Pacific University on 5 June.