The two teenagers suspected in the fatal shooting outside of South Education Center in Richfield Tuesday were also students at the school.
Police Chief Jay Henthorne said Wednesday morning the two individuals, ages 18 and 19, remain in Hennepin County Jail and could face criminal charges as soon as Thursday afternoon.
Jahmari Rice, 15 years old, was killed in the shooting just outside the front entrance of the school shortly after noon Tuesday. A 17-year-old victim remains in critical condition Wednesday morning after being taken to HCMC following the incident.
Henthorne also said there was an additional 19-year-old victim who suffered "minor injuries" at the scene and was not taken to the hospital.
The chief said all five — the two suspects and three victims — were enrolled as students at South Education Center, which serves a wide range of students from across the Twin Cities from pre-K through Transition.
The shooting was "not random," said Henthorne, who said there may have been an altercation in front of the school between the five students just prior to the shooting, potentially related to a "prior dispute."
The two suspects immediately fled the scene, and Henthorne said both were arrested just after 6 p.m. at two separate Minneapolis homes as SWAT teams executed a search warrant. Law enforcement also found the suspect vehicle and served five more search warrants into the evening.
Officers recovered two guns: One at a Minneapolis address and one at a Crystal residence. Henthorne said ballistic testing will be done to determine if either or both were involved in the shooting at the school.
Investigators are also currently "sifting" through video to see if any cameras captured the incident.
The FBI and ATF are have provided support in the shooting response and the investigation. William McCrary, special agent in charge of the ATF's St. Paul Field Division, said the agency is assisting with the weapons part of the investigation.
“Yesterday we lost a student. Another student is in critical condition, "said ISD 287 Superintendent Sandy Lewandowski. "Their lives were just beginning. I am devastated. We are all devastated.”
Lewandowski said school staff will be focused on beginning the healing process, pledging a flexible approach to support students based on their individual needs. Those who are ready to return to school will be able to do so beginning Friday, she said, outlining the mental health support and trauma discussions they will have in place.
“What we know already is that the days ahead will be some of the most difficult we have experienced for the South Education Center community," she said. "Our students and their families are hurting. Our staff are hurting. The members of our safety team and others who first responded to our students' injuries are hurting greatly. The trauma they experienced will be with them the rest of their lives."
Richfield Mayor Maria Regan Gonzalez also spoke, calling it an "absolutely challenging 24 hours" for the city.
She called Rice one of the community's "young leaders," saying he loved football and spending time with friends.
"He should have had a lifetime of joy and happiness and growth ahead of him," she said, offering condolences to his loved ones.
"Everybody says this, but you have that feeling, you see the news and you don't think this is going to happen in your community and unfortunately it does," said Gonzalez. "None of our communities are safe from what happened yesterday here in Richfield.