PERRY HALL, Md. (WJZ) - Baltimore County Police have taken a student into custody for allegedly shooting a 17-year-old student Monday morning.
Baltimore Co. Police Chief Jim Johnson said during a live news conference that at 10:45 a.m. on Monday the suspect entered Perry Hall High School's cafeteria and exposed a gun.
A teacher responded immediately but the suspect managed to shoot the weapon striking a 17-year-old student in the back. The teacher was able to grab the suspect and they began grappling when a second instructor assisted. A second shot was fired but nobody was hit.
"I saw the kid shooting then the teacher tackled him and the first row started running, then the second run, then everyone was running," said Gerald Roman, 11th grader.
The student victim was flown to Medevac Shock Trauma and is in serious condition.
One student told WJZ's Hellgren that there was a lot of blood and saw the student shot in the back. There are estimates there were about 200 students in the cafeteria at the time of the shooting.
Others told WJZ they heard a scuffle before the shooting. After the shooting, the school was put on lockdown for almost an hour.
"It sounded like a fight against the locker with all the banging. I heard screaming and the teachers told everybody to stay calm... it was crazy," said Justin Spencer, tenth-grader. "When all the teachers started running to the classrooms and locking the doors and then on the speaker we heard the teachers saying lockdown, lockdown, this is not a drill we need everyone to stay in the classrooms."
Police have taken the suspect into custody and is being interviewed at police headquarters. Officers have also recovered the weapon. Chief Johnson said they are investigating the scenario and how the student got a hold of the gun. They are not disclosing the time of gun or ammunition used at this time.
A young man without a shirt was seen by Sky Eye Chopper 13 being escorted to a police cruiser in handcuffs. It's not clear if he is the accused shooter. Police say there is no active shooter on campus.
"We have heroic staff members at the high school. The crisis plan we put in place was followed today to make sure students were safe," Baltimore County Superintendent Dr. Dallas Dance said.
Governor Martin O'Malley released the following statement:
"Today, on this first day of school for many students in our State, we've suffered a senseless act of violence. I'd like to thank the teachers and administrators for their courageous and life-saving actions. At this time, our thoughts and prayers are with the injured student and his family.
"I've spoken with County Executive Kamenetz, and we will continue to support all of our local partners in Baltimore County. It takes all of us working together to make our schools safer for our children."