At least three people have been injured in a school shooting in Grasse, southern France.
A high school student attacked several people — including the school's principal — at the Alexis de Tocqueville school, in the town on the French Rivera, shortly before 1 p.m. (local time), the Associated Press reported.
Three people, so far, are confirmed to have been hurt in the assault, Reuters reported. Five more were treated for shock.
"Around 12:40, I was sitting just finishing eating. I heard a big bang and then two more. I turned and saw someone in the yard with a shotgun firing," Alexis de Tocqueville student Benjamin, 16, told French newspaper Nice-Matin. "It fired through the windows of classrooms that overlook the courtyard. When I saw that, I ran away."
A 17-year-old has been arrested and taken in for questioning following the attack, the area's police confirmed; they also stated that they believe the attacker acted alone. Earlier speculation had suggested a second man was on the run, following the shooting.
Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said initial investigations showed the suspect "had consulted American-style mass killings' videos," Reuters reported. He was apprehended carrying a rifle, two handguns, and two grenades.
Emmanuel Ethis, head of the area's schools, said the children of the school were safe but urged parents not to go to the area. He later tweeted to confirm that two children from the school had been injured and that their parents had been informed.
France's minister for education, Najat Belkacem, confirmed she would visit the school.
The Interior Ministry urged people not to believe "rumours" online, with Grasse's town hall swiftly commenting that the incident was not believed to be a terror attack.
Later in the day, the head of the Nice schools said the area had now reopened.
In the immediate aftermath of the attack, national government organisation Visov sent out a terror warning. The app is part of nationwide system but was not a nationwide alert, despite initial reports.
Grasse, a centre for perfume manufacturing, is roughly 44 kilometers from Nice, where a terror attack in July last year killed 86 people. The school shooting comes as France continues to operate under a state of emergency following a number of terror attacks in the past two years.
Rose Troup Buchanan is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Francis Whittaker is a homepage editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Francis Whittaker at email@example.com.
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