BATON ROUGE, Louisiana -- A 23-year-old woman killed two fellow students in a classroom at a vocational college Friday, then killed herself, police said. In South Carolina, one person was shot at a technical college, but was expected to survive.
The Louisiana women apparently were shot in their seats in the second-floor classroom at Louisiana Technical College, Baton Rouge Sgt. Don Kelly said. About 20 people were in the room at the time, he said.
Officers ran into the building within four minutes of the first emergency call, which came at 8:36 a.m. (1336 GMT), Kelly said.
"There was mass pandemonium, people running," he said. "One officer - the first into the classroom - told me he could still smell gunpowder."
Police withheld the names of the shooter and the victims, ages 21 and 26, until their families could be notified.
The school offers classes in a dozen subjects including early childhood education, practical nursing, drafting and welding.
School administrators and campus police did not immediately return calls or e-mails.
Classes were canceled through Tuesday, and tentatively scheduled to resume Wednesday, said Jim Henderson, vice president of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System.
"This is a tragic day for Baton Rouge, when you come to a learning institution ... and become the victim of a violent crime," Mayor Kip Holden said at the scene.
In Greenville, South Carolina, a student was shot in the leg at Greenville Technical College, but told police it was a self-inflicted accident, a campus official said. The wound was not life-threatening, said Brad Majors, the college marketing director. Majors said campus police and city police would continue to investigate.
The Louisiana shootings came a day after a gunman carrying a grudge against City Hall in the small Missouri town of Kirkwood went on a deadly shooting spree at a city council meeting, killing five.
They were the latest in a number of shootings in public places across the United States. A man last Saturday fatally shot five women in a robbery at a clothing store in an outdoor shopping center in a suburb of Chicago, Illinois. He has yet to be located.
In December, a 19-year-old man opened fire in an Omaha, Nebraska, shopping mall, killing eight people and wounding four before committing suicide.
Associated Press writer Janet McConnaughey in New Orleans contributed to this report.
On the Net:
Community college system: http://www.lctcs.edu/