Los Angeles police are interviewing students who witnessed a shooting that left five people injured inside a Los Angeles classroom, but they don't know how many kids were in the room because some of them fled, authorities said.
Investigators also don't yet know what led to the shooting or how the shooter got her hands on a weapon and got it onto the Westlake district campus of Sal Castro Middle School Thursday morning.
The "person of interest" is a 12-year-old girl who is a student at the school, according to Los Angeles school police Chief Steve Zipperman. She was in custody at an LAPD facility.
The Los Angeles Police Department, which is leading the investigation, is calling the 12-year-old girl a "suspect."
It's not clear how many students were in the classroom when the gunfire erupted, Zipperman said. That's because "there were numerous kids that ran and other kids that may have left the classroom," he said.
A woman named Jocelyn Lopez told KTLA she texted with her 13-year-old sister, a student in the classroom. The girl told her older sister "they just heard something pop inside the classroom – and that's when everybody started panicking."
Lopez's sister was next to two girls who were injured, Lopez said.
"She's so little. To imagine her getting hit ... it's really bad," Lopez said.
The students have been "secured in the school auditorium" and detectives are interviewing them individually, according to Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief Robert Arcos.
The middle school is on the campus of the Belmont High School in the Westlake district west of downtown L.A. State data from last year shows it enrolled about 355 students, about 92 percent of whom were Latino or Hispanic. Belmont High has about 1,000 students.
School is continuing as usual on campus after the shooting.
Two 15-year-old students were shot: a boy with a gunshot wound to the head who is in critical but stable condition; and a girl with a gunshot to her wrist who is in fair condition. Three others suffered abrasions and were hospitalized: a 30-year-old woman, a 12-year-old girl and an 11-year-old boy.
Authorities did not say what grade classroom the shooting occurred in.
Parents of students at the school can call a hotline set up by LAUSD: 213-241-1000.