- Casey Hamm
- February 22, 2016
Independence High School Shooting
Lately, more than ever, it is every parent’s worst nightmare and just last week it happened at Independence High School.
Two teenagers were killed Friday morning in what police are calling a murder-suicide.
Glendale police spokesperson Tracey Breeden said officers responded to calls of a shooting at the High School near 75th and Glendale avenues just before 8 a.m., right around the time school was scheduled to begin for the day.
Police found two 15-year-old female sophomores lying next to each other on campus, each dead from a single gunshot wound, said Breeden. A weapon was found next to them.
Officials said a suicide note was also located at the scene, leading detectives to believe one of the teens shot the other before turning the gun on herself.
Teacher Phuong Kieu talked to ABC15 Friday afternoon and identified her sister May as one of the victims. Police have not yet confirmed the victims’ identities.
According to officials, the investigation has revealed the two girls were very close friends and appeared to also be in a relationship.
Police referred to the situation as an “isolated incident,” and were quick to reassure parents that their children “are safe” and that this was not an active shooter-type situation.
Detectives say they are not looking for any other suspects or persons of interest.
Many students at the school expressed heartbreak at an incident that didn’t fit the school’s loving and accepting environment.
The school was immediately placed in lockdown mode and the Glendale Police Department responded quickly, assessing the safety of our students, faculty and staff.
Soon after the Glendale Police Department secured the scene and immediately began their investigation.
The school released a statement following the event:
“As stated in the media press conference, this tragedy was an isolated incident. There was never an active shooter on campus and police are not searching for a suspect.
Our hearts and minds are with the families who lost their children today. We offer our deepest condolences. As an Independence community we will support the families and each other. We will be providing a team of social workers for our students and families tomorrow (Saturday, February 13). They will be available from 9 a.m. to noon in the Media Center. As well, the team will be available to support students when they return to school on Tuesday.
We thank you for your support and understanding as our community deals with this tragedy.”
ABC15 reached Glendale Vice Mayor Ian Hugh by phone Friday. He called the shooting “a horrible tragedy” and said that city employees are following the developments.
Nearby 75th Avenue was closed between Glendale Avenue and Bethany Home Road while police worked to clear the scene. The road was reopened around 2:30 p.m.
Gov. Doug Ducey released the following statement as new information was released.
“As details of this morning’s tragic shooting continue to be released, our hearts remain with the students, educators and families of Independence High School and the entire Glendale community.”
*Thank you to ABC 15 News for the original story.
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