Published: Thu, December 07, 2017
Science | By Eileen Rhodes

Sheriff: 2 students shot at Pierce County high school

Sheriff: 2 students shot at Pierce County high school

Two students who were shot were expected to survive after undergoing surgery.

A Pierce County Sheriff's Dept. deputy stands between two vehicles near Graham-Kapowsin High School, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in Graham, Wash. However, there were no signs of the shooters being on campus.

A statement from the Bethel School District said Graham-Kapowsin High School will have extra security on hand Wednesday, as well as additional counselors. Authorities say the shooting might have been gang related.

All other students were safe and being reunited with family.

Graham-Kapowsin High School is located at 108th Avenue E and Eustis Hunt Road E. The shots were reportedly fired on the Eustis Hunt Road side of the school, and only about ten yards off campus.

The shooting in Graham followed a fight on school grounds, according to the Pierce County Sheriff's Office.

John Gutierrez, 41, who was driving to pick up his son from the school, said he noticed the sheriff's deputies on his way to the school and added he was asked to leave the parking lot when he arrived.

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One suspect was arrested at his home Tuesday night and a second was taken into custody early Wednesday after a green Chevy Impala, allegedly used by the fleeing suspects, was seen in Tacoma by police, said sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer.

The Pierce County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday a third suspect in the shooting, described only as a 17-year-old male, has been apprehended, but his two alleged accomplices remained at large.

Four schools in the district went under lockdown, but Graham Elementary students were recently released to their buses, per the district.

"It is scary, but I know my son is OK", he said. Gutierrez also revealed how he got a text from his son saying he can't leave the school as they are going on lockdown.

Students were beginning to be released from school about 4:30 p.m., starting with Frontier Middle School, according to the Bethel School District.

Troyer said the shooting appears to be the result of an altercation between people who may have known each other. The victims ran to the high school after being shot. "We are confident that with your help we will bring swift justice and peace of mind for the hundreds of students and parents affected by today's shooting".

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