The conditions of the wounded students, both males, were not immediately known but a Pierce County sheriff's spokesman said they were expected to survive.
Two male students, both 16, have been shot near Graham-Kapowsin High School in Pierce County.
The victims are going into surgery and expected to recover, Steve Richards, a spokesman for Graham Fire & Rescue told The News Tribune on Tuesday evening. As they were transported to Tacoma General Hospital, both appeared to be alert, Richards added.
The shooting occurred about 2:30 p.m. just off school grounds, and the victims ran back on the campus, Pierce County Sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said.
One of the victims was found in a parking lot by the school football field and a second was found in a restroom in a locker room, he said. The suspects reportedly fled in a green vehicle, possibly a Chevrolet Impala.
Most Read Local Stories
- Want to know what a Seattle tax hike would mean for you? New King County tool helps even renters
- Antibiotics in beef: Burger chains are failing the test, except for a couple right here in Washington
- 4 moments from the Rossi-Schrier debate you may hear more about
- Mysterious paralyzing illness leaves Washington families reeling VIEW
- Judge dismisses NRA lawsuit over Seattle's new gun-storage law
Troyer said the shooting may be gang-related.
The shooting prompted the high school and three nearby schools to go into lockdown status.
Deputies swept the high school grounds following the shooting, although Troyer said there were no indications that the shooters were on campus. All remaining students were with deputies, he said.
“We are confident there are no shooters at the school or on the school grounds,” Troyer said.
The Bethel School District confirmed in a tweet that the victims are students at the school.
The high school is located at 108th Avenue East and Eustis Hunt Road East in Graham. The gunshots were reportedly fired on the Eustis Hunt Road side of the campus, the sheriff’s department said.
John Gutierrez, 41, of Frederickson, was driving to the high school to pick up his son, who had finished with his after-school drama program, according to The News Tribune of Tacoma. He said he noticed he was following sheriff’s deputies on the way, and was told to leave the parking lot when he arrived.
That’s when he got a text from his son, that said: “Hey, dad, I can’t leave. We’re going into lockdown.”
“It is scary, but I know my son is OK,” he told The News Tribune. “I’m just praying for the parents of the other kids.”
Three schools were locked down after the shooting, according to Bethel schools. In addition to the high school, Frontier Middle School and Nelson Elementary were locked down, the district said in a tweet. Students were being released from the schools starting around 4:30 p.m.
Students at Graham Elementary School were released to their buses with staff supervision, according to the district.
High-school students were being reunited with their parents at the Frontier Middle School gymnasium, 22110 108th Ave. E., south of Graham-Kapowsin.
“As you can imagine, there’s a lot of parents, and they’re all upset,” Troyer told KIRO radio.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and students involved with this shooting today,” the school district said in a tweet. “This is a scary situation and we are proud of how our staff, students and families have been and are still reacting to it.”
U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Auburn, tweeted the following statement: “My prayers are w/ the families of the victims; the students, teachers, & staff at the school; & the community affected. My thoughts are also w/ the law enforcement officers that are investigating this heinous crime.”
The most recent school shooting in Washington state was Sept. 13 at Freeman High School near the tiny town of Rockford, Spokane County, where one student was killed and three others were wounded. A 15-year-old boy was charged with first-degree murder and three counts of attempted first-degree murder.
Seattle Times news researcher Miyoko Wolf contributed to this story.