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Two boys shot at central Minnesota high school, one dies

COLD SPRING, Minn. — A freshman opened fire at a central Minnesota high school today, killing one student and critically wounding a second, authorities said.

The suspect was taken into custody after the late morning shooting at Rocori High School.

Police Chief Phil Jones said "there was chaos" as police arrived at the school. One of the students was shot in the school's weight room and the other was shot in the gym.

One of the wounded boys died and the other was critically injured, Stearns County Sheriff John Sanner said.

"There was kids crying, and it was really quiet," Jamie Toddingham, a junior, told KSTP-TV. "We were sitting at a window where we could see cops everywhere.

"I was just thinking about, it could've been me."

Jones said the investigation was still under way, but that it appeared a well-respected, veteran teacher and coach talked the suspect into surrendering a small-caliber gun. When police arrived, the boy was in the custody of the school's staff in an administrative office, he said.

Authorities would not identify the two students who were shot except to say they were a senior and a freshman. The suspect also is a freshman.

Mike Austreng, editor of the weekly Cold Spring Record, said he saw one wounded student airlifted from the school.

"We can see groups of students being taken out of the building," Austreng said from the scene. "Most of them are running with their hands up in the air, or walking with their hands up in the air."

Cold Spring is about 60 miles northwest of Minneapolis-St. Paul. The school district's name, Rocori, comes from the first two letters of the communities it serves: Rockville, Cold Spring and Richmond.

The district enrolls nearly 2,700 students in elementary, middle and high schools. District officials said students would be sent home early.