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Sheriff official: 3 injured in Maryland high school shooting

Deputies, feds investigating at Great Mills High School

(WJLA via CNN)

GREAT MILLS, Md. – A shooting at a Maryland high school Tuesday morning injured three people, including the shooter, a sheriff's spokeswoman said.

Authorities said the situation was "contained" as deputies and federal agents converged on the crime scene at Great Mills High School, which is in the southern end of Maryland, about an hour and a half southeast of Washington, D.C.

St. Mary's County Sheriff spokeswoman Cpl. Julie Yingling said three people hurt, including the shooter. She didn't know the extent of their injuries, but said all three were taken to hospitals and none were killed.

The Baltimore Sun reported that a student said the shooting happened around 8 a.m.

Terrence Rhames, 18, told the Sun that he heard a gunshot and saw a girl fall as he ran for an exit.

"I just thank god I'm safe," Rhames said. "I just want to know who did it and who got injured."  

St. Mary's County Public Schools said the situation was "contained" after the shooting at Great Mills High School, which has about 1,600 students and is near the Patuxent River Naval Air Station.

Agents with the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives joined deputies at the scene.

The county sheriff told parents or guardians to stay away, urging them to go instead to Leonardtown High School to reunite with Great Mills students there.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Rep. Steny Hoyer tweeted that they're monitoring reports and urged people to follow the instructions of local law enforcement at the scene.

Jonathan Freese, a student at Great Mills, told CNN he was in lockdown in his math class. Police were going through classrooms to clear the school, and students will then be escorted out of the school, Freese said.

"I'm still a little shaken up," he said.

Freese said the school had held drills a couple of times for this kind of situation.

"I didn't really expect for this to happen. I do always feel safe, though, because they always have police at the school," he said.

According to CNN's research, there have been 16 confirmed school shootings this year in the United States prior to today.

This latest shooting happened as many students are calling for action against gun violence in schools, leading up to Saturday's March For Our Lives rally in the nation's capital. Protests have been spreading around the nation since a teenager with an assault rifle killed 17 people at a Florida high school on Valentine's Day.

Last week, students at Great Mills High School walked out of class as part of a student-led protest against school violence in the wake of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

Threats against schools have proliferated as well, and Great Mills High has not been immune.

Just last month, the school's principal, Jake Heibel, told parents in a letter posted on the local news site The Bay Net that two students were interviewed after they were overheard mentioning a school shooting, and they were found to pose no threat. Heibel said the school increased its security nevertheless after social media posts about a possible school shooting "circulated quite extensively."

Also last month, St. Mary's County Sheriff's office said it arrested two teenage boys for "Threats of Mass Violence" and a 39-year-old man on related charges after the teens made threats about a potential school shooting at Leonardtown High School, a high school about 10 miles from Great Mills. Police said they obtained a search warrant that led to them finding semi-automatic rifles, handguns and other weapons, along with ammunition.

Al Murray shot video of police responding to the shooting at the high school Tuesday. He says he saw at least one officer run into the building with a shotgun or rifle.