Student, 16, shot dead in Indiana while waiting for school bus

A 16-year-old Indiana student has been shot and killed while waiting for his school bus.

Police are looking for a suspect in the killing of a Whiteland Community High School student that took place early on Thursday in Greenwood, south of Indianapolis.

Law enforcement responded to the scene after receiving a report of shots being fired just before 7am.

Greenwood Assistant Chief of Police Matt Fillenwarth said the deceased individual was a 16-year-old boy, who was a sophomore at the high school and who recently started studying in the school district.

The boy was shot several times and law enforcement believes he was targeted, according to WTHR.

Mr Fillenwarth added that the boy was waiting for the bus with multiple others when the suspect approached and shot the student. The others near the victim dispersed before shots were fired and the suspect left the scene on foot, WTHR reported.

Several agencies are taking part in the search for the suspect, Johnson County Sheriff Duane Burgess told the outlet.

Police described the suspect as “wearing a black hoodie”.

“We do not believe this was just a random act of violence,” police added.

“We have the state police helicopter up in the air helping us, we have several drones in the air,” a police spokesman told the assembled press.

The suspect is thought to have fled into a cornfield west of US 31, Fox 59 reported.

The Clark-Pleasant school district has said that no visitors will be allowed for the rest of the day.

“I live very, very close. It felt like it was just outside of my window,” an area resident told Fox 59. She said she thought the loud sounds were coming from someone working on her roof. “I was pretty annoyed. I got woken up early. It woke up my child whatever this sound was.”

She said she felt “guilt and sadness” when she learned that the sounds were gunshots. “The fact that I was upset that I was woken up early by the sounds of their child being taken from them. That could have been any of us. That could have been any of us,” she said.

“I think about in 10 years what the world might look like if it keeps going in this direction. It’s very scary. I know every parent can relate [to] that … I’m taking a mental health day because I can’t focus on anything else at this point than just senseless violence happening literally right outside of my building which is devastating,” the unnamed resident added.

A Greenwood Community Schools spokesperson said the schools in the area were placed on lockdown in response to the incident.

At 7.46am, Greenwood Community High School tweeted that “we are moving to a lockout situation (meaning the incident is off campus) where exterior doors will all remain locked and students are not able to leave rooms without administrative approval/escort”.

At 9.02am, they added: “We are now in a level 2 lockout where we are following the bell schedules and moving between classes. Students still need administrative approval/escort to leave the building”.

The Superintendent of the Clark-Pleasant Community School Corporation, Dr Patrick Spray, said in a statement that “it is with a heavy heart that we report that one of our high school students has died after being shot near his bus stop earlier this morning, near US 31 and Worthsville Road”.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends and also to his classmates and teachers at Whiteland Community High School,” he added.

Dr Spray said that police are “securing all of our school buildings today and extra officers have been brought in to assist”.

He added that additional mental health and grief counsellors would be brought in to “help students deal with this tragic incident as needed”.

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