DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Two people were killed in a school shooting in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, on Wednesday, prompting the U.S. mission there to advise Americans to avoid the area.
No children were present at the time of the shooting due to the Muslim holy month of Ramadan’s school schedule and no U.S. citizens appear to have been caught in the shooting.
The Kingdom School in Riyadh said the shooter was a former employee who had been fired four years ago “on the basis of anger issues and unstable personality.”
“This is a case of a disgruntled employee who fatally shot two of our staff members and wounded a third,” Chairman of Kingdom School Talal al-Maiman said in a statement.
State-linked Saudi news websites Okaz and Sabq reported the two faculty members were a Palestinian and a Saudi national. Okaz said the shooter was an Iraqi national.
The school is part of the GEMS global network of schools and is owned and operated by Kingdom Holding Company, whose chairman is billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. Its website says it is a girls’ and boys’ school from kindergarten through grade 12. The school segregates males and females by grade 4 as is customary throughout the deeply conservative kingdom.
An Interior Ministry official described it as a “criminal case,” suggesting this was not a terrorism-related incident.