2 boys shot outside Hammond Central High School; person of interest in custody: police

HAMMOND, Ind. (WLS) -- An after-school shooting in Hammond Friday has left two boys injured, according to the city's mayor.

A person of interest is in custody, police said.

The call for shots fired just feet from a high school set off an all too familiar sense of dread.

"The panic is -- all the students hearing it, knowing that something is happening, that someone has a gun and the stampedes that kind of run through the hallway and such," said Angela Herrera, a teacher at Hammond Central High School.

The two boys were shot right outside Hammond Central High School after they were released for the day, Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. told the I-Team.

The mayor said he was there and saw both boys wounded.

"I was in the classroom. We walked out, we were hanging out in the hallways waiting for the bell to ring and we heard a code white," Herrera recalled.

Code white is the school's lingo for a threat not in, but near the school.

Hammond police responded to a call for shots fired in the 5900-block of Calument Avenue just before 2:30 p.m., officials said. When they arrived, they found two students with gunshot wounds just steps from the high school.

"When our officers got there, we realized two students had been shot," Hammond Police Lt. Steve Kellogg said.

"I know one kid definitely ran back into the school and then made his way around the entire school, literally around the entire school, all the way to the nurses office," Herrera said.

Police say the bullet went through one student's arm and hit a second.

The teens were transported to a nearby hospital in stable condition.

Their injuries are not life-threatening injuries, McDermott said.

But what happened before the gun went off is something police still don't know.

"All we know is there was a crowd of kids outside the school when this all took place," Lt. Kellogg said.

By the time officers got, there, they say, the shooter had run off.

The mayor also said "they're optimistic" they will get the gunman.

Police said the believe just three students were involved in the incident -- the two injured teens and the shooter.

Due to the age of person of interest, police are not identifying who they are at this time.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Hammond Police Department at (219) 852-2989.
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