Two teenage girls were shot and killed at a high school in a suburb of Phoenix early Friday in what police described as a murder-suicide.
Police were called to Independence High School in Glendale just before 8 a.m. local time, and arrived minutes later to find two 15-year-old girls dead by an administration building under a patio, Glendale Police spokeswoman Tracey Breeden said at a press conference.
Each girl had been shot once and a weapon was found beside them, Breeden said.
“I want to speak to all the parents. I want them to know their children are safe, that’s one of the most important messages to get out this morning,” Breeden said.
Students were being allowed to leave campus if they had contacted a parent or guardian, according to a Facebook post from the Glendale Union High School District. Parents were directed to meet their children at a staging area and sign them out, the post said.
Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers said cities across the state called to offer support.
Weiers added that the school has special meaning to him. "I live by this school, my daughter went to this high school. This morning's tragedy hits really close to home," he said.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) commended local law enforcement's "swift response" in a statement.
This is the seventh school shooting in the U.S. this year, according to advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety. The same number of school shootings had taken place at this time last year, while 15 had occurred by this time in 2014.
This article has been updated to include the police statement that the girls died in a murder-suicide.
If you or someone you know needs help, please call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of international resources.
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