Five high school students wounded in Maryland shooting

By Thomson Reuters Apr 19, 2024 | 5:34 PM

By Daniel Trotta

(Reuters) – Gunfire broke out at a park in Greenbelt, Maryland, where hundreds of high school students had gathered while skipping school on Friday, wounding five males aged 16 to 18, police said.

One victim was in critical condition and the others were in stable condition, Greenbelt Police Chief Richard Bowers told a press conference.

Police were searching for one suspect but there may be others, Bowers said. No motive had been established.

“There’s absolutely no reason that this occurred. It is senseless, it is chronic in our society, and we have to do something to stop it,” Bowers said. “It’s maddening, honestly.”

There have been 120 such mass shootings in the United States in the first 110 days of this year, when defined as an incident with four or more people shot or killed, not including the shooter, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

An estimated 500 to 600 students from at least two high schools converged on the park in what is known as senior skip day, when students in their final year of high school ditch their classes, Bowers said.

About 20 officers had been on scene for about 15 minutes, having responded to the sudden gathering convened on social media, before the shooting broke out, Bowers said. They were able to render first aid before ambulances arrived.

“That could be the difference between somebody making it to the hospital and somebody not,” Bowers said.

Greenbelt is a city of about 24,000 people some 13 miles (21 kilometers) northeast of Washington.

(Reporting by Daniel Trotta in Carlsbad, California; Editing by Bill Berkrot)