This story will be live-updated as more information becomes available. Information is subject to change as the situation unfolds.
Police are responding to a school shooting that has been described as a “mass casualty event” at Heritage High School in Newport News, Virginia.
Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew gave a press conference shortly after 1:30 p.m. with a live feed on the department’s Facebook page.
The suspect is not currently in custody.
The chief said that a 17-year-old male was shot in the face and a 17-year-old female was shot in the leg. Both are expected to survive. He said others were also taken to the hospital, but were not shot.
WPXI reporter Gordon Loesch had tweeted that police were referring to the incident as a “mass casualty event,” but that does not appear to be the case at this time.
BREAKING: School shooting reported in Newport News. Police calling this is a “mass casualty event”. https://t.co/DbNKhvXPh3
— Gordon Loesch (@WPXIGordon) September 20, 2021
“The most recent update came in at 1 p.m. and police said the two victims’ injuries were not believed to be life-threatening. Rumors that there were active shooters at other schools are false, police said,” according to a report from WAVY.
Students were seen running from the building and are being evacuated to the tennis courts where parents can go pick them up. It is unclear if there are still students inside.
🚨BREAKING: Shooting at Heritage High School in Newport News, Virginia – At least two people shot so pic.twitter.com/J4t983e0Ui
— Alexander Higgins (@kr3at) September 20, 2021
The FBI field office in Norfolk is providing assistance to the local police.
The FBI field office in Norfolk, Va. is providing assistance to Newport News police investigating this shooting, an official tells @ABC. https://t.co/beHlLEX5HG
— Alex Mallin (@alex_mallin) September 20, 2021
WJHL reports that “Officer Brandon Maynard could not confirm additional details as of 12:20 p.m. but said officers were gathering more information.”
Governor Ralph Northam tweeted for people to avoid the area at this time.
“My team and I are in close contact with first responders at Heritage High School in Newport News. As more information becomes available, please avoid the area and follow all instructions from law enforcement,” Northam wrote.
My team and I are in close contact with first responders at Heritage High School in Newport News.
As more information becomes available, please avoid the area and follow all instructions from law enforcement.
— Governor Ralph Northam (@GovernorVA) September 20, 2021
The Achievable Dream Academy nearby has also been placed on lockdown, though no threat has been reported there.
It is unclear if the shooter is still at large and police say the investigation is ongoing.
There are roughly 1,200 students who attend the school — some as young as 6th grade.
Important Heritage High school is not just 8-12 graders. 6-7th graders that used to go to Huntington Middle School are also there @WAVY_News
— Brett Hall (@BrettHNews) September 20, 2021
UPDATE– 2 children were wounded, 1 child is in custody.
2 wounded, 1 juvenile in custody following shooting at Heritage High School in Virginia: Police https://t.co/Yc25Ua9OGR
— rbodpr (@ecodaren) September 20, 2021