Wed, Feb 13, 2008 - Page 7 News List

Student in critical condition after US cafeteria shooting

SCREAMS Mitchell High School principal John Ware urged students to come to class yesterday, but many were still badly shaken by the shooting

AFP , MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE

A 17-year-old shot a classmate in a school cafeteria here before casually handing the gun to a teacher and saying "it's over now," in the latest of a slew of shootings across the country, officials said.

Screams rang out in the halls as frantic students fled from the gunshots which left a 19-year-old student in critical condition.

"We believe the incident occurred because of something in the community and the student brought it to school," Mitchell High School principal John Ware said at a press conference.

"The student walked up to another student and shot the student," Ware said.

"He then gave the weapon to one of our coaches ... and made a statement to the coach that it's over now," Ware said. "He didn't run."

Ware urged students to come to class yesterday when they will be writing important tests, but students were badly shaken by the shooting.

"It was just crazy because all you see are students running down the hall saying `They're shooting! They're shooting!'" student Michelle Oliver told WMC-TV news.

"We thought we'd be safe at school but obviously not because something like this could happen," she said.

Student Raven Taylor described the victim as a well-liked youth who avoided trouble.

"It's just going to be very heartbreaking if he doesn't make it," she told the local station.

The incident came a week after another Memphis student was shot in the leg by a classmate during algebra class in a dispute over rap lyrics, and caps a week of deadly shootings nationwide.

On Friday, a female student shot dead two other women before turning the gun on herself at a college in the southern state of Louisiana.

On Thursday, a gunman opened fire at an Ohio school, wounding his estranged wife in front of her students before fleeing and later killing himself after a three-hour standoff.

He had earlier stabbed another woman believed to be one of his wife's friends prior to going to the school.

Also on Thursday, a suburban city council meeting in the Midwestern state of Missouri became a scene of carnage when an enraged gunman burst in and shot seven people, five of them fatally.

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