US & Canada

Students hurt in Los Angeles school shooting 'accident'

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Media captionOfficers handcuff a student at Gardena High School

Two students were injured after a gun brought to a high school in Los Angeles in California state accidentally fired a single round, police said.

The gun was brought to Gardena High School in a backpack and discharged when a student dropped the bag, a Los Angeles school district official said.

The student, 17, who brought the gun apologised and was led away by police.

A 15-year-old boy and girl were taken to hospital, one in serious condition and the other in critical condition.

Local police originally reported that three students had been injured in the shooting at the school, which houses 2,600 students.

One victim was seen being taken away on a stretcher.

"Our indication is that a student took a gun to school in a backpack, and that student had dropped the backpack and consequently the gun discharged," said Robert Alaniz, spokesman for the Los Angeles united school district.

School lock-down

Gardena High School Principal Rudy Mendoza said the student had dropped the bag as he was walking between classes on Tuesday morning.

"He said, 'I'm sorry,' when the gun went off," Deputy Police Chief Patrick Gannon said. "It made it appear to the teacher that it was an accident."

Crowds of parents gathered outside the school, as pupils remained locked down inside classrooms until the alert was lifted.

Various law enforcement agencies, including specially armed police squads, responded to the incident in Los Angeles, near the city of Gardena.

"I've never heard of anything like this before," Thomas Hill, a parent of two of the school's students, told the Associated Press news agency.

"You're going to have confrontations between kids but never this," he added.

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