WICHITA (KSNW) — Wichita police said two East High School students were shot Tuesday afternoon north of the school during lunch. It happened on Spruce Street just west of Grove and Douglas around 12:30 p.m. Police say a third student in the outside commons area of the school was grazed by a bullet.
At least two bullets hit the school, and one penetrated the building. No one inside the building was hurt.
“We got 911 calls from citizens in the neighborhood. The neighborhoods to my left or to the north of a disturbance where gunshots were fired involving kids. Our officers got on the scene, and we contacted two kids, both of them are students over here at East High,” said Capt. Kevin Kochenderfer, Wichita Police Department.
Two students were taken to the hospital with gunshot wounds. Police said the injuries were non-life-threatening. The student who was in the commons area outside the school went to the school nurse with a potential graze wound.
“On the injuries, one of the victims had a through-and-through to the leg and then two graze wounds,” said Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay.
The school was placed on lockdown. Students were at lunch and outside of the building at the time. The students were quickly rushed inside.
Police said citizens in the neighborhood provided pictures of the vehicle of interest in the shooting.
“That vehicle’s license plate that we got from witnesses was put into our Flock camera system, and we were able to track the vehicle throughout the city,” Kochenderfer said.
Police said they have three suspects, who are students, in custody in the shooting. They were located on South Roanoke Street.
“That’s where we have the three who we believe are suspects involved,” Ramsay said.
Several streets were blocked in the area as crime scene investigators processed the scene.
“We’re going to have the buses picking up students here shortly, so our lab is extremely accelerated in getting this area processed and stuff and talking to all the kids that were standing outside,” Kochenderfer said.
Meanwhile, police are still determining what led to the shooting.
“We do believe this was stemming from a beef that’s been going on for a while between the individuals involved, and this was not some random act or a targeted random shooting. It was people that, sounds like there’s been an ongoing dispute,” Ramsay said.
As for the school lockdown, Terri Moses, USD 259 executive director of safety services, said it will be lifted. If parents want to pick up their students from school, they can.
“However, we are not going to let students leave. We are sending notifications to parents if they want to come pick up their student, they can, but it will not be a normal release,” said Moses. “It will be a reunification release which means they have to have identification to pick up their student.”
The principal of East High School is sending out a ParentLink to let them know of school discharge plans for the day.