A shooting outside a school in a Minneapolis suburb left one student dead and another in critical condition on Tuesday afternoon, according to the authorities, who said several hours later that two suspects had been arrested.
The gunfire erupted around noon near the entrance of the South Education Center in Richfield, Minn., a school that serves about 200 students with special and alternative-learning needs from prekindergarten to age 21 that is about 10 miles south of Minneapolis, the police said during a news conference.
It was not immediately clear what led to the shooting or whether the students had been targeted. The victims, whose names had not been released by Tuesday evening, were found on the sidewalk. the police said.
Shortly after 6 p.m., police executed search warrants at two locations in Minneapolis in connection with the shooting, police said. Officers arrested two suspects and recovered a handgun, and were not looking for additional suspects, the police said. The authorities did not release the names of the suspects.
As a precaution, several other schools in the area were placed under a lockdown that was later lifted, Jay Henthorne, the police chief in Richfield, said during the news conference.
Sandy Lewandowski, the local schools superintendent, said during the news conference that it was difficult to comprehend what had prompted the violence.
“It is always difficult to understand an incident like this and it is especially important for anyone who needs help to reach out for that support,” she said.
An F.B.I. spokesman said the agency was providing assistance to local police, and agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also responded to the shooting.
Richfield is a close, safe and welcoming community, Mayor Maria Regan Gonzalez and the City Council said in a statement.
“These headlines appear far too often, and our hearts sink that such a tragedy has landed in our community,” the statement said.
At Richfield Middle School, another school less than a half-mile from where the shooting took place, some law enforcement officers “accidentally” swarmed that property in their initial response, Erica Barlow, the school’s principal, wrote in a message to parents on the school’s website.
“The officers had weapons drawn and were in bulletproof vests,” Ms. Barlow wrote. “It is unlikely that many students witnessed the event, as they were in class at the time. However, it is important that you are aware of the incident in the event that your child hears about it, as some children may be deeply impacted by this type of news.”
According to local news reports, the South Education Center had another lockdown in September, when a student was arrested after being found with a loaded handgun. The student did not threaten anyone or use the gun.
Vimal Patel contributed reporting.