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At Least 2 Dead in School Shooting

March 24, 1998

JONESBORO, Ark. (AP) _ Two boys in camouflage ambushed a group of middle school students Tuesday as they assembled outside during a fake fire alarm, fatally shooting at least two people and wounding 13.

Two suspects _ ages 11 and 13 _ were taking into custody after the 12:40 p.m. shooting outside Westside Middle School.

Two of the wounded were teachers, said Connie Tolbert, secretary to school superintendent Grover Cooper.

Craighead County Sheriff Dale Haas cried as he gave the announcement confirming the shootings: ``There are 15 students shot and two are dead, mostly little girls. The two young boys believed to be the shooters, one of them was 11 and the other 13.″

He said the suspects were lying in wait in nearby woods.

``Someone pulled the fire alarm inside and they went outside, and two people in camouflage clothing started shooting,″ Ms. Tolbert said. A search was under way for that person.

The boys were taken to the county jail. Two rifles and other weapons were recovered, Haas said.

The school has about 250 students in sxith and seventh grades. Authorities wouldn’t say whether the suspects were students at the school.

Jonesboro is a city of 46,000 about 130 miles northeast of Little Rock.

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