Small New Mexico town is left in shock as high school shooting leaves two dead
Pupils at a New Mexico high school hid in their classrooms as a gunman opened fire and killed two classmates before also being found dead.
Authorities and other officials in the small town of Aztec, near the Colorado border, have released few details other than to say the gunman and the two victims all attended Aztec High School.
No other injuries were reported, and it was not clear if the gunman died by suicide or was killed by police.
Local and federal authorities are investigating what led to the shooting and did not immediately release any details about the circumstances.
A news conference was planned for late.
Sophomore Garrett Parker told Albuquerque television station KOAT he was upstairs in history class when he heard what he initially thought was students banging on lockers.
As the noise got louder and closer, school officials issued a warning over the loudspeaker.
"Thankfully our teacher always locks the door no matter what, so he kept that locked," Mr Parker said.
"When they called over the intercom that it was not a drill, we went to the corner of the room, out of sight from the door, and just started hiding."
He added the whole experience felt like a dream.
Some parents reported hearing from their children via text messages that they could hear the gunman approaching.
The school of 900 students was cordoned off as authorities cleared the campus and teenagers were taken to be reunited with their mothers and fathers.
A crowd of nervous parents initially gathered outside City Hall to wait for more information as officers tried to reassure them about the safety of their children.
All schools in town closed for the day, but authorities said there were no other credible threats to students at the high school or other schools in the neighbouring communities of Bloomfield or Farmington.