Eight killed in Minnesota school shooting

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The Independent US

A gunman opened fire at an American high school yesterday killing five people and injuring 14. Two other people were killed elsewhere and the gunman was also shot dead

A gunman opened fire at an American high school yesterday killing five people and injuring 14. Two other people were killed elsewhere and the gunman was also shot dead

The shooting took place in the middle of the afternoon at Red Lake High School on the Red Lake Indian Reservation in northern Minnesota. The suspect reportedly opened fire on dozens of people at the school, attended by more than 300 pupils from the surrounding area.

He killed three students, a teacher and a security guard before he died of gunshot wounds, officials said. It was not immediately clear if the gunman had committed suicide or was overpowered and killed during the attack.

It emerged that shortly before the school shooting, a man and a woman were shot dead at their home. Paul McCabe, a spokesman for the FBI, refused to confirm whether there was a connection between the suspect and the dead couple.

The local fire department later suggested that the dead couple might have been his grandparents. His grandfather was a long-serving police officer on the reservation, a fire department official told CBS News.

"The young man, whoever he is, shot his grandfather and grandmother, and then went to the school and shot as many as 16 more," said Vernon Bellecourt of the American Indian Movement in Minneapolis.

The school is situated in a reservation located about 290 miles (390 km) north of the Twin Cities and is home to the Red Lane Band of Chippewa Indians.

There were scenes of confusion in the area surrounding the school yesterday in the aftermath of the shooting, according to local residents. The incident is the latest in a growing number of fatal school shootings to blight the US. Among the most infamous of American high school massacres took place at Columbine High School in the spring of 1999.

Two teenagers, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, walked into the school and killed 12 students and one teacher before turning the gun on themselves.

The rise in school shootings has in part been attributed to exposure to violence in media and films, and in the case of the Columbine massacre, violent video games, which was a favourite of the two killers.

Locally, the shooting follows the 12 March killings of seven congregants at a church service near Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which ended when the gunman killed himself. In 2003, a student at Rocori High School in central Minnesota allegedly gunned down two classmates. He is awaiting trial.

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