A high school in a small western New York city was evacuated Tuesday after a 17-year-old senior used a gun to commit suicide in a bathroom, officials said.
Police and emergency crews raced to Canandaigua Academy shortly after 11 a.m. while students were being told over the intercom system that they were to remain in classes but were in no danger.
Many students were at lunch when the commotion began.
"We thought it might be like swine flu or a drug thing," freshman Hannah Strait, who was in the lunchroom, told the Daily Messenger of Canandaigua. "So we all started panicking. We really don't know what's going on. They just said students aren't in danger at this point."
Police evacuated classrooms and searched students as a precaution before loading them onto buses, sending them to a nearby middle school and then taking them home along with the middle schoolers, school spokesman Andy Thomas said.
Police also were going through lockers at the high school on Tuesday afternoon as part of their investigation, Thomas said.
In an e-mail to district residents in Canandaigua, a city of 11,200 about 30 miles southeast of Rochester, school Superintendent Don Raw confirmed that a male student committed suicide.