'Accidental' school shooting kills teenage girl in Alabama
8 March 2018, 12:57
A school shooting that killed a 17-year-old student and injured another is being treated as accidental, according to police.
The girl, identified by friends as Courtlin Arrington, was fatally shot on Wednesday afternoon at Huffman High School - one of the largest schools in Alabama.
Investigators are scouring surveillance video and interviewing students and staff as they try to piece together what led to the shooting, which happened shortly after lessons ended for the day.
Officials in Birmingham closed the school for a safety sweep on Thursday after metal detectors and other security measures failed to stop students from handling firearms.
The gun was recovered, but interim police chief Orlando Wilson has not disclosed who fired it. No arrests were immediately reported.
He said: "At this particular time, we are considering this accidental. Right now we have a lot of unanswered questions."
Mr Wilson added that he has not been made aware of any arguments or threats in the run-up to the shooting.
According to local media reports which have not been confirmed by police, a male student was "showing off" his gun when it fired and struck Courtlin. As he was putting the weapon away, it went off again and he shot himself.
Ninth-grade student Ashley Oden witnessed the incident.
"It's heartbreaking... She didn't do nothing, she was always a good student. For her to get hurt, it's just like terrifying to see it happening right in front of your face," she said.
The shooting occured three weeks after the Valentine's Day shooting at a Florida school that left 17 dead. It is the third American school shooting this year to result in fatalities.
Birmingham mayor Randall Woodfin said the deceased student would have turned 18 in April, and the teenager "had aspirations and dreams to be a nurse".
"We are not just talking about some person, (we're) talking about losing a part of our future. Our hearts are heavy," he added.
Alabama governor Kay Ivey said the teenager's death "reaffirms that there is no place for students to have firearms or other weapons on campus".
The shooting took place a day after Ms Ivey created a school safety council in Alabama to make recommendations on security.
(c) Sky News 2018: 'Accidental' school shooting kills teenage girl in Alabama