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Two Wounded Near Arkansas School

May 11, 2000

PRAIRIE GROVE, Ark. (AP) _ A seventh-grader and a city police officer were wounded this morning in an exchange of gunfire about a mile from a rural junior high school, state police said.

State police spokesman Bill Sadler said troopers were called to Prairie Grove Junior High School in this community of 1,800 people about 10 miles southwest of Fayetteville in northwestern Arkansas.

KFSM-TV said the student, who skipped school today, was carrying a pellet gun on a rural road a few blocks off campus when he was approached by Sgt. Greg Lovett, a city officer assigned to patrol the junior high.

Authorities were unsure what provoked the mid-morning altercation, in which Lovett and the 12-year-old boy each fired five times. Lovett was hit in the face and the student was hit at least once in the abdomen.

Both were taken to Washington Regional Medical Center, but their conditions were not immediately known. Neither the student’s nor Lovett’s injuries were believed to be life-threatening.

The entire Prairie Grove school district has about 1,100 students.

Classes continued after the incident, according to the office of Superintendent Tom Louks. School officials did not know whether students knew of the shootings.

Two years ago, a pair of students at Jonesboro Westside Middle School _ about 200 miles east of Prairie Grove _ triggered a fire alarm on their campus and opened fire with rifles as students and teachers spilled from the building. Four students and a teacher were killed and 10 people were wounded.

Last year, two students in Littleton, Colo., killed 12 students and a teacher before committing suicide inside Columbine High School.

Other campus shootings have occurred in Pennsylvania, Oregon and Mississippi.

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