GLENDALE, Ariz. – Two 15-year-old girls were shot to death on Friday at Independence High School located in Glendale, Arizona.
Police said it was a murder-suicide, after a suicide note was found at the scene near the cafeteria area. Officers told reporters that each of the girls were shot once and a gun was found near their bodies.
“Information gathered by detectives reveal the two girls were very close friends, appeared to also be in a relationship”, Glendale police spokeswoman Tracey Breeden announced in a statement Friday afternoon, as reported by the Washington Post. Although some students heard the shooting, it is believed that nobody witnessed the incident, she added.
Breeden said the police department would not reveal or confirm the identities of the teens involved in the shooting because of their juvenile status.
Before the lockdown of the school was lifted, the Glendale Union High School Districts alerted parents to the incident through automatic phone calls and emails and announced the shooting on social media, according to Superintendent Brian Capistran.
He also said that students usually are not allowed to use their cellphones during a school lockdown, but officials asked teachers to let them call their families while calls from worried parents were flooding the district.
Parents who talked to Washington Post reporters expressed how desperate they had been while hearing the news because they were not sure if the teens involved were their own children.
They said they were beyond relieve when they received a call or a text message from their sons and daughters telling them they were OK. Many of these parents rushed out of work to meet their children again and emotional reunions were seen at the school.
Capistran said the school would provide social workers and counselors to staff and students once school activities resume on Tuesday.
Although policed declined to release the names of the girls, a science teacher at Independence High School confirmed the death of her younger sister to the Arizona Republic. Phuong Kieu said her sister May was one of the killed and that there was no gun in her home.
Phuong told the paper that May, who would have turned 16 in May, was a “well-loved” honors student and an actress currently playing Marcie in the school’s production of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.
The science teacher has raised more than $8,500 through a GoFundMe page to cover the costs of her younger sister’s funeral.
Source: Washington Post