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Two Teens Are Shot at D.C. High School

February 2, 2004

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Two teenagers were shot Monday at a high school in the nation’s capital, fire and rescue officials said.

A 16-year-old boy was shot in the chest and arm inside Ballou High School, District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services spokesman Alan Etter said. He was flown to a trauma center in critical condition. An 18-year-old suffered a graze wound to one leg, and his injury was not considered serious, Etter said.

It was unclear whether the two were students at the school.

D.C. police were on the scene but were not immediately releasing any information.

The shootings occurred at about 10:30 a.m. EST near the cafeteria, Etter said. The building was locked down and students were kept inside. A large crowd of relatives and friends gathered outside the crime scene tape in front of the building, demanding to see students. Some school security officers were talking to them, but many complained that they were getting no information from school officials.

Ballou High School has been the scene of other trouble in recent months. The school was closed from Oct. 2 to Nov. 5 after a student removed mercury from an unlocked science classroom and then splattered the toxic substance in various areas of the building. Decontamination of the building took more than a month.

The school’s reopening was marred by gunfire just before classes let out, when a man allegedly fired a handgun in the direction of the building. He faces gun-related charges.

School Board President Peggy Cooper Cafritz told WUSA-TV Monday that she was ``absolutely outraged and frustrated″ to learn of the shooting. She said the school system needs more help from police to control violence.

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