It is with heavy and frustrated hearts that we must report yet another incident of horrific violence in American high schools. In Glendale, Arizona, two female tenth-grade students, both only fifteen years old, were shot at an Independence High School patio. Both were declared dead at the scene of a single gunshot wound. A weapon was recovered at the scene; there is no active shooter situation and the school is under lockdown.
“They were found next to each other and the weapon was beside them” reported Glendale Police Officer Tracey Breeden. “Children are safe and it’s not a dangerous situation.” Breeden said. She stressed it was an “isolated incident.” The proximity of the weapon indicates that it may have been a murder-suicide – or that the killer fled after dispatching his targeted victims. Isolated or not, it is a harrowing reminder that our nation’s reckless proliferation of small arms has put our children in harm’s way just by going to school.
Arizona had the 11th most gun violence deaths in the nation last year; the city of Phoenix has a homicide rate comparable to the country of Mexico.
Little more is known at this point. This post will be updated as more information emerges.
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.