1 student injured in Arkansas school shooting on 1st day back to in-person class

A student at a middle school in Arkansas was shot in an isolated incident involving one gunman, an official for the Watson Chapel School District confirmed on Monday.

The school is located roughly 43 miles south of Little Rock.

"There has been a shooting at the Watson Chapel Junior High. All campuses are on lock down," the district wrote on its Facebook page around 10:37 a.m. local time.

Later, the district confirmed that the shooting was an "isolated incident," adding that only one student had been injured. The district’s superintendent did not confirm the injured student’s condition.

Jerry Guess, superintendent for the Watson Chapel School District, explained that the district’s schools have regular drills to prepare for situations like these.  

"We have an active shooter drill program," said Guess

"The teachers are taught to lock their rooms protect their kids and we notified the other school close to them and we contained the situation in the best way that I think we could have," Guess said. 

He could not disclose the age or names of the victim or the shooter, but he said the suspect had fled the scene.

"The shooter fled the building and the local police department, the local sheriff’s department, Arkansas State Police showed up en masse and they pursued the leads about where the shooter might have gone and did discover a young man that they believe to be the shooter," Guess said. 

Later that day in a press conference Pine Bluff Police chief Kelvin Sergeant said the shooter was identified as a 15-year-old Black male who was a student at the middle school.

Sergeant said a definite motive is yet to be determined but he believes this is a targeted incident. 

According to Guess, this was the first in-person class held at Watson Chapel Junior High in the past few weeks. The middle school* * has been out for several weeks due to weather conditions. 

"We tried to always be prepare hence we do things like active shooter drills," Guess said. 

He said there was no foreknowledge of the event that he is aware of. 

Check back on this developing story. This story was reported from Los Angeles. 

EDITOR'S NOTE: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the victim of the shooting had died. The Associated Press has since corrected its reporting to say that the victim survived the shooting.