Investigators suspect ‘small group’ behind school shooting

FREDERICK, Md. – As two students recover from bullet wounds, a large-scale investigation is under way after a shooting outside Frederick High School.

Shots were fired outside the school’s gym during a junior varsity basketball game between Frederick High and a rival team, Thomas Johnson High, Wednesday night.

Police suspect a number of people were likely involved. They say the shooter and the victims knew each other.

“We believe there was a group of subjects, we don’t know how many of them were shooters,” said Captain Richard Hetherington, deputy chief with Frederick City Police.

The two students who were injured are expected to be OK. They’re said to be 14 and 15 years old, and ABC7 reports that they are students at Thomas Johnson and claim to be members of a gang.

Frederick County Public Schools confirmed the victims were students within the system, but they would not say what specific school they attend.

Frederick High and West Frederick Middle schools cancelled classes Thursday, and a team of counselors was called in to help.

Meanwhile, numerous agencies are investigating the shooting. And police will review video footage as part of their investigation.

According to Frederick Mayor Randy McClement, the city’s police department is working alongside the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, Maryland State Police, the Frederick County Division of Fire and Rescue and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

“I commend our police officers who answered the call to this incident, for their fast and efficient response,” McClement said in a statement Thursday.

The school was immediately locked down following the shooting.

Everyone inside the gym was ushered into the cafeteria, and investigators conducted hundreds of interviews before giving the all-clear.

Theresa Alban, Superintendent of Frederick County Public Schools, assured parents that the school system is safe.

“We do a lot of drills and practices so that our administrators and our teachers know how to respond in the event of a crisis,” Alban said

According to Alban, there was security on hand during Wednesday night’s basketball game, but the school system will determine whether additional security should be added in the future.

In the video below, Superintendent Dr. Theresa Alban and President of the Board of Education Brad Young discuss the incident. Frederick County Public Schools posted the video on Feb. 5, the day that Frederick High and West Frederick Middle schools cancelled classes.

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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