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2 students hurt in Maryland high school shooting

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The suspects in a shooting that wounded two students outside a high school basketball game in Maryland were still at large Thursday morning, and police said they haven’t ruled out any motives.

Police said they’re investigating a range of possibilities in the Wednesday night shooting at Frederick High School, including reports from students that it could be gang-related or stem from a rivalry between the two schools playing in the game.

Investigators also are looking into reports from students who said they saw four to five males — dressed in big coats and hands in their pockets — walk into the gymnasium during the game and leave shortly before the gunfire rang out, Frederick Police Capt. Richard Hetherington said.

The shooter or shooters are believed to have fled the scene on foot, Heatherington said.

The shooting wounded two male students, who have injuries that are believed non-life-threatening, and sent spectators running for cover as frantic parents rushed to the scene to make sure their children were OK.

The two wounded students were flown to a hospital in Baltimore. The boys’ ages weren’t released, and there was no immediate update on how they were doing Thursday.

Two junior varsity basketball games were going on at the time of the shooting, Frederick County public schools spokesman Michael Doerrer said.

He said there were also students from at least two other high schools on campus. The two students who were shot attend a Frederick County school, but not the one where the shooting happened, Doerrer said.

Officers took about 200 people who were at the game into the school cafeteria, secured the building and questioned witnesses, Hetherington said. He said the students were released to their parents in the parking lot of a nearby bowling alley.

Just before midnight, a school bus and a police van pulled into the lot and let off about a dozen students, the first group to be released. There was excited chatter as parents hugged their children.

Frederick High School junior Sofia McCluskey said she was watching the game and heard a muffled shot. “Someone yelled, ‘Yo, they’re shooting,'” she said. “And we just ran as fast as we could.”

She and her friend, Stephanie Sanchez, said they ran to the locker room and were taken to the cafeteria, where they waited and were briefly interviewed by police.

Sanchez said it was a frightening experience. “I was, like, shaking the whole time. I still am,” she said.

Dejuan Jones, a sophomore, said he knew the boys who were shot.

“They was at my house a couple of days ago,” he said. He said he believed the shooting was gang-related. “Everybody knows, everybody knows,” he said.

Dana Wiles, 40, said her daughter, a Frederick High school sophomore, sent her a text message around 8:40 p.m. “She said she saw it happen,” Wiles said. “She’s not coming back to any more basketball games. I’m keeping her home with me.”

Wiles waited with her son, a senior at another school, near the street entrance to the school driveway. They periodically checked their cellphones for messages. “I just want my kid,” she said.

Tanika Mayweather, whose 15-year-old son Lawrence was playing in the basketball game, said, “I know he’s OK, because he called.” She said she’s not going to let her son play basketball for the school anymore. “We’ll have our basketball games out in the park,” she said.

Sean Noah, 16, who attends a different high school, was in the building for swimming practice. He said he didn’t hear any shots but that he was kept inside for about 45 minutes afterward.

Elsa Pereira, 46, a paralegal, said her 10th-grade son was watching the game. “He called me right away,” she said. “He’s OK.”

Frederick County Public Schools officials tweeted that all other staff and students were safe and accounted for.

Frederick High School, on the city’s west side, has about 1,300 students. The school district closed the school and West Frederick Middle School for students on Thursday. The schools are set to reopen Friday.