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2 students wounded in shooting at Virginia high school

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Two students were shot and wounded at a Virginia high school Monday morning, authorities said. Several hours after the shooting at Heritage High School in Newport News, police said a male juvenile was taken into custody.

Police Chief Steve Drew told reporters the two victims are 17 years old. A male student was shot in the side of the face, and a female student was shot in the lower leg, Drew said.

The wounds weren't considered to be life-threatening. At least four students were taken to area hospitals, but only two were shot, Drew said. One student suffered a sprained or broken arm that may have happened as the school was being evacuated, while another has asthma and experienced breathing issues, he said. 

Police believe the suspect and the victims know each other, he added, saying the shooting was believed to be tied to "some type of altercation." When asked whether the suspect is a student, Drew said, "We're trying to put all that together."

Police respond to the scene of a shooting at Heritage High School in Newport News, Virginia, on September 20, 2021. John C. Clark/AP

Students were evacuated from the school, police said, and parents were told they could meet their children at the school's tennis courts. The school had resumed classes on September 8, so students had just begun their second full week this school year, The Associated Press reported.

Schools Superintendent George Parker III told reporters the public school system in Newport News had been using random security checks to screen for weapons, including the use of metal detectors and dogs.

Some students have been checked for weapons as they get off buses, Parker said.

"Every kid does not walk through a wand every day in most public schools, but I feel that we actively provide some level of deterrence for our students on a daily basis to ensure that our schools are safe," he said.

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