At least six people have been wounded at a school campus in the US city of Oakland, in a mass shooting that erupted only minutes before hundreds of students were scheduled to be dismissed for the afternoon.
The shooting, which occurred at Rudsdale Newcomer high school on Wednesday, left two adult victims hospitalized with life-threatening injuries, said Darren Allison, the Oakland assistant police chief.
He said all of the victims were over 18, however, did not clarify whether those who had been injured were students, school workers or bystanders.
“The victims were affiliated with the school and we are determining the affiliation at this time,” Allison said, although he declined to say whether any students or teachers were involved.
Police are still searching for the gunman, Allison said.
He added that “other individuals” might have been involved in the shooting, but did not say whether the shootings had been targeted or random.
Television footage showed dozens of police cars and yellow tape on the street outside the schools.
An Oakland City Council member, Loren Taylor, expressed concern , saying, “Guns were on our school campuses where our babies were supposed to be protected.”
The shooting was among more than 130 that have occurred this year at schools across the United States. More than 30 of them have resulted in injuries or deaths, according to The New York Times.
The deadliest was the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, that claimed the lives of two adults and 19 children in May.
The US struggles with the violent crime as the rising number of gun deaths extends beyond the Uvalde shooting, emerging nearly every day inside homes, and on the streets of many cities, according to federal data.
The surge in gun violence comes as firearm purchases rose to record levels in 2020 and 2021. The rate of gun deaths in those years hit the highest level since 1995, with more than 45,000 fatalities each year.
According to the independent data collection non-profit organization, Gun Violence Archive, the US has witnessed over 380 mass shootings this year alone.
In late July, the US House of Representatives passed legislation to revive a ban on certain semi-automatic guns, the first vote of its kind in years amid growing outrage over rising incidents of gun violence.
Back in June, President Joe Biden signed into law the first major gun safety legislation passed by Congress in three decades.
The new law is the most significant federal legislation to address gun violence since the assault weapons ban of 1994.
Biden, however, acknowledged that the law falls far short of what he and his party had advocated for to stop the alarming frequency of shootings in the US.