(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — A student was injured in a shooting at Erie High School on April 5.
The shooting took place shortly after 9:20 a.m. Tuesday inside the high school. According to a news release from the school district, multiple shots were fired and that prompted a “hard lockdown.”
The school initially had announced the shooting via a Facebook post.
“Attention Erie High Families: There has been a shooting at Erie High. The building is on hard lockdown with a police presence on campus. A person is in custody. We are coordinating with law enforcement and are arranging an intentional dismissal process, including parent pick-up, now. Please stay away from the area until the further notice. More information will be coming shortly. Please stay connected to all district communication channels,” the school announcement said.
That Facebook post later was edited and no longer stated that a person was in custody.
As of noon on April 5, police were searching for a “known person of interest who fled the building,” the district’s news release said.
As the situation developed, updates were made available through multiple sources.
According to an Erie Police Department Facebook post at 9:57 a.m., “a single individual at Erie High School has been shot. The individual is in good condition and has been transported to the hospital.”
By 10:10 a.m. the City of Erie Government Facebook page reported, “The school is locked down, and all students are safe.”
Dismissal began at about 10:34 a.m. Students were dismissed classroom-by-classroom after police officers secured the building, the district news release said.
A large police presence remained at the school. The Pennsylvania State Police, Erie Police and the Erie County Sheriff’s Department responded.
Mayor Joe Schember released the following statement as the event unfolded:
“The shooting at Erie High School this morning is very saddening. Schools should be safe places where children learn and grow. I am receiving great updates from Superintendent Brian Polito and Police Chief Dan Spizarny. I know this is difficult for parents to hear. But remember: all students are now safe! We must all stay away from the area until Erie’s Public Schools announces a dismissal process. My thoughts and prayers are with the students, teachers, administrators, and all the Police Officers who have secured the building. What they all need right now is our love and support.”
Counseling and other professional services will be available for students, staff and parents at the Erie Center for Arts and Technology (650 East Ave.) beginning at 1 p.m. on April 5.
There will be no school for Erie High School students for the remainder of the week, the district said in its news release. Spring Break is next week, April 11-18.
“We are devastated and angered by this senseless tragedy, and we are all hoping for the full and speedy recovery of the student involved,” Erie’s Public Schools Superintendent Brian Polito said in the news release. “I want to thank district and city police for their very prompt and thorough response.
“Incidents like these are a reflection of a troubling rise in youth violence in Erie,” Polito said. “As we ask the entire community to come together to address this challenge, we are working on a comprehensive plan for students and staff to safely return to school. The wellbeing of our students and staff is and always will be our priority, and we will take every measure possible to ensure their safety and security.”
This story is breaking. We will continue to update you with more information as this situation develops.