STOWE TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – Police continue searching for the gunman who shot a student outside of Sto-Rox High School around dismissal time Tuesday afternoon.

According to emergency dispatchers, the shooting happened near the school, located in the 1100-block of Valley Street in Stowe Township.

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The Sto-Rox School District said on its website that the shooting occurred about 2:15 p.m. Tuesday, and “there was one student shot by an unknown actor.”

It appears the shooting happened at an intersection across the street from the school. A cell phone and a shell casing were found on the sidewalk.

School officials say the incident took place as the high school students were being dismissed. Outside the school, about 40 to 60 students were lined up and getting on buses at the time. When they heard the gunshot, they ran back into the school.

“We have two security officers,” said Sto-Rox School District Superintendent Terry DeCarbo. “They were present and they were very active in ensuring that our students were safe, getting all the students back into the building, and carrying and getting the student who was shot in the arm, getting him to the office and making all the proper recommendations to the administration.”

Police say the 17-year-old victim was taken inside the school first where his wound was tended to, and then he went to a local hospital for further treatment. Officials say he is expected to recover. His name has not been released.

“Young student was shot at, was hit. The injuries are not believed to be anything life threatening. He is undergoing treatment right now. We expect him to make a recovery,” Chief Matthew Preininger, of Stowe Township Police, said. “We are working with Allegheny County Homicide Detectives right now to try to find exactly what happened.”

No other injuries were reported.

“It’s terrible,” said DeCarbo. “It’s sad in today’s time and age that we have to go through this type of process. Nobody’s immune.”

It’s unclear if the gunman knew the victim, but police believe this was an isolated case.

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“We do not believe this had anything to do with any type of school violence,” said Chief Preininger. “This might have just been an isolated incident. However, we’re looking into this further.”

Just after the shooting, authorities began an active search for the suspect.

“All over our West Park area,” said Chief Preininger. “From the information we had, he ran down Dale Street here towards Woodward and that’s where we scoured the area looking for him.”

Investigators searched a wooded area off of Highland Avenue, as well as garages and sheds nearby earlier in the afternoon. After that, the search was broadened. Police K-9s were brought in to help comb the area.

“Black male, wearing a gray, hooded sweatshirt,” said Chief Preininger. “I have our people going through video footage from the school and from our township feeds from the main street in an effort to try to find where this guy went to. We do have K-9 units out trying follow the scent, trying to follow any lead that we can on this.”

A woman who lives nearby said she heard the gunshot and stayed in her home.

Some school buses were affected by the incident, but they were dismissed on time. No students remained in the school.

According to the police chief, classes at the high school have been cancelled Wednesday. But they will have counselors on hand in case any students need to talk about the incident.

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David Highfield