Police have said there are “multiple victims” after a shooting at a school in the midwestern US state of Iowa.
It happened on the first day students had returned to class from their Christmas break.
Officers swarmed Perry High School, in the town of Perry about 61km from Des Moines, at 7.40am local time (12.40am Friday AEDT).
The shooter is dead, a police source told CNN. However, the condition of the victims is not known.
At least two people are being treated at a hospital in Des Moines.
CBS News reported that some parents were being turned away from the school and didn’t know where their children were.
“I just want to know that he’s safe and OK,” Erica Jolliff said of her son Amir.
Dallas County Sheriff Adam Infante confirmed the shooter had been identified and was born in 2006 which would make them around 16 years old.
The shooting began before the school day started which police have said meant there were fewer students in the building then there might have been later in the day.
A teacher has said they heard six or seven gunshots.
Police have said the scene is now “secured”.
“There is no further danger to the public. The community is safe,” Sheriff Infante said.
“We’re just now working backwards, trying to figure out everything that happened and make notifications.”
The Perry High School incident is the second school shooting in the US in 2024 coming just four days into the new year.
In 2023, the US saw 656 mass shooting events which killed 731 people, according to the Gun Violence Archive which defines a mass shooting as four or more people shot. That’s down on a high of 686 mass shootings in 2021, but far higher than totals pre-2020 when around 300 mass shootings annually was more standard.
It’s not known how many people were shot at the school so it’s not clear if it is a mass shooting event.
The streets surrounding the school remain blocked off. Perry High School has cancelled all classes for the day.
“Our hearts are broken by this senseless tragedy. Our prayers are with the students, teachers and families of the Perry Community,” Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said on Thursday.
Kris Brown, president of gun violence prevention organisation Brady, said students should not have to hide in their classrooms “fearing for their lives”.
“New Year, same horror. These students were returning to campus after their holiday break only to be met with gun violence that has uniquely plagued their generation,” he told CNN.