On Monday, a 12-year-old boy was held on suspicion of shooting and wounding another student at a school in east Oakland, authorities said.
Reports of a shooting sent officers to Madison Park Academy in the Sobrante Park neighbourhood at about 1.30pm, the police said.
They found a 13-year-old boy with a gunshot wound, and another boy running away after the shooting, who was quickly taken into custody, Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong said, at a press conference.
The wounded student was hospitalised, and is currently in a stable condition, he said.
Armstrong said both boys were students at the school, which has about 750 students, ranging from grades 6 to 12.
Other details weren't immediately released, or remained under investigation.
“It saddens me to even think that a kid would bring a gun to school,” Armstrong said.
“No parent wants to send their kids to school in the day and then be called saying your kid’s been shot. It’s the worst thing that you can hear.”
“But there's far too many guns on our streets and it's only a matter of time before incidents like this happen," he said, urging family members to turn in guns, and to “get these firearms out of the hands of these kids".
“Our hearts are with the student who suffered this awful injury, and their family," the Oakland Unified School District said, in a statement late Monday night.
The district said someone had a gun at school and a round was “discharged", but added that it was unlikely to provide more information or correct rumours during the ongoing police investigation.
Counselling will be available to students and staff when school reopens on Tuesday, the district said.
“Violence across our nation, and here in Oakland, has been on the rise, and this is an example of how problems in the community can reach into the schools," the statement said.
“We must come together to address guns and violence in our Oakland community and with our youth."
The teachers' union said educators were “shaken, sad, horrified, and stressed".
“We are committed to do whatever it takes for this to never occur again," said Keith Brown, president of the Oakland Education Association, which, according to its website, represents nearly 3,000 Oakland district teachers, counsellors, nurses, psychologists, librarians, speech pathologists, social workers and teacher substitutes.
“Educators have major concerns over the resources that are readily available to support the needs of our students," Brown's statement said.
“Our public schools should be safe havens for students, free from the fear of gun violence," he concluded.
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