“At this particular time, we’re considering it accidental until the investigation takes us elsewhere,” the chief said at an evening news conference. He would not say if the suspected shooter was a student, but added: “It’s not a situation where someone from the outside came into the school.”
Birmingham City Schools issued a brief statement on the incident, saying: “Two students were involved in a shooting during dismissal today at Huffman High School.”
“The school was placed on a brief lockdown, and police were called to the scene. Students have been released and police are actively investigating the circumstances surrounding the shooting,” the statement read.
Birmingham City Schools Superintendent Lisa Herring said the school system will add security at all of its schools and send a crisis response team to the high school in response to the shooting.
The shooting came exactly three weeks after police say a former student opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in South Florida, killing 17 people in one of the worst school shootings in history.
The Birmingham episode is the first school shooting since that incident, and the third this year that left students dead. An ongoing Washington Post analysis has found that more than 150,000 students attending at least 170 primary or secondary schools have experienced a shooting on campus since the Columbine High School massacre in 1999.
The shooting in Florida spurred fierce debate over how to stop the next school shooting, with some, including President Trump, calling for teachers to be trained and armed to respond to mass shooters. Alabama lawmakers are considering a proposal to do that in response to what happened in Florida.