A 32-year-old milk truck driver took about a dozen girls hostage in a one-room Amish schoolhouse Monday, barricaded the doors with boards and shot several people, killing at least three of the girls and apparently himself, authorities said. The incident occurred in Pennsylvania's bucolic Lancaster County, state police said.
"So far, six confirmed dead, and the helicopters are pulling into (Lancaster General Hospital) like crazy," Coroner G. Gary Kirchner said.
Lancaster County Coroner G. Gary Kirchner initially said six people were killed, but later said he wasn't certain. Police said they found four people, including the gunman, dead when they got inside.
''There are a number of people dead,'' said State Police Cpl. Ralph Striebig. ''The exact number I do not know yet.''
Police surrounded the one-room school late Monday morning, and the Lancaster County 911 Web site reported that dozens of emergency units were dispatched to a ''medical emergency'' at 10:45 a.m.
Two hours later, about three dozen people in traditional Amish clothing, hats and bonnets stood near the small school building speaking to one another, several young people and authorities. At least two ambulances had left the scene, and at least one person was taken on a stretcher to a medical helicopter.
Officials at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center confirmed that victims were being admitted there. A spokeswoman said the hospital anticipated more than one patient, but did not know how many.
It was the nation's third deadly school shooting in less than a week, and similar to an attack just days earlier at school in Colorado.
Associated Press journalist Mark Scolforo contributed to this report.