BOWIE, Md. -- A 13-year-old boy has been shot outside a middle school in a Maryland suburb of Washington.
And there were reports of shots being fired outside a Wal-Mart near the school. CNN reported that police have not found any victims at Wal-Mart. Prince Georges County, Md., police reportedly said there was no shooting at the store. They said the report was unfounded.
There's no immediate word on whether the shooting in Prince George's County is related to a series of deadly sniper attacks last week in nearby Montgomery County, Md., and in Washington and Virginia that left six people dead and one person wounded. Authorities say they don't want to "jump to any conclusions."
An emergency official says the boy is in critical condition after extensive blood loss.
According to police department spokesman Cpl. Robert Clark, the call came in at 8:09 a.m. EDT for a reported shooting in the 4900 block of Collington Road.
Clark said the boy may have been walking toward the school. The Bowie, Md., mayor said that police have not been able to talk to the boy about the incident because of his condition. Fire department spokesman Mark Brady said the boy was wounded in the chest and abdomen. A teacher inside the middle school said she heard a very loud gun shot and ran outside to investigate. She said she saw the child on the ground just in front of the school.
The victim's mom dropped off her son and was pulling away when she also heard the shot. She looked behind and saw her son on the ground. She backed up and picked up her son. The boy's mother took him in her car to Bowie Health Center, a small hospital. A Maryland State Police helicopter was to fly the child to a hospital specializing in traumatic injuries in children, Brady said.
"The child is suffering from extensive blood loss and is in critical condition," Brady said. He was shot in front of Benjamin Tasker Middle School, according to Prince Georges County, Md., fire and rescue officials.
Prince Georges County school officials say all school buildings have been locked, and no students are being allowed outside. But officials are allowing parents to pick up their children from Benjamin Tasker Middle School.
Schools in Montgomery County, Prince Georges County and Anne Arundel County are at code blue at this time, which is a total lockdown. All Montgomery County schools currently remain incident-free. Montgomery County Police Chief Charles Moose said the mother was with the boy when the shooting happened.
In Montgomery County -- the scene of five of last week's fatal shootings -- the police chief says investigators have been sent to the shooting scene in neighboring Prince Georges County.
Parent's Picking Up Children
Parents in Bowie are showing their concern for their children's safety -- after this morning's shooting. A steady stream of adults has been arriving at the locked-down campus of Benjamin Tasker Middle School.
Some say they are picking up their children because the shooting was a traumatic occurence for them. Others admit they are leaving with their children for their own peace of mind. Streets around the school are jammed with vehicles.
Among the parents seen leaving with their children was a police officer in uniform. He escorted his daughter to his patrol car and drove away.
Police said they'll release more details as soon as they have them.
Anyone with information on this shooting is being asked to call (240) 777-2600.
Post Edited (10-08-02 08:08)