Two juvenile males were shot and wounded by an unknown male suspect early Sunday evening outside the Sentinel High School gymnasium.

Assistant Police Chief Scott Hoffman was on the scene of the incident and spoke with KGVO News.

“At about 6:37 tonight, there was a report of shots fired behind Sentinel High School,” said Hoffman. When officers arrived they found two victims lying on the parking lot behind the school and they were rushed to the hospital.”

Hoffman said both the victims were undergoing surgery at the time of this interview at 7:30 p.m.

“One of the victims stated that there was a male suspect in this, and he was last seen running west from this area,” he said. “There were some students participating in open gym at Sentinel this evening, but those students have been removed and they have met with their families.”

MCPS Communications Director Hatton Littman confirmed that the Sentinel boys basketball team was practicing in the gym on Sunday evening.

Hoffman said all available law enforcement agencies are participating in the search for the armed assailant.

“The University Police are here helping us, the Missoula County Sheriff’s deputies are here helping us, and we’ve called in a dozen more officers and detectives, and we have a Crime Scene Investigation team here to collect all the evidence, and there are detectives standing by at the hospital to interview the victims when they come out of surgery. Officers have established a perimeter on Russell Street because the suspect was headed in that direction, so we’re canvassing between here (Sentinel High School) and Russell Street. We have not located any weapons between here and there, and we will continue our canvass to try to locate a weapon.”

Authorities are asking the public to stay away from the area of the Missoula County Fairgrounds and the area between Bancroft and Russell south to Playfair Park while the search for the suspect continues.

The suspect should be considered armed and dangerous.

Hoffman had no comment on the possible motive for the shooting.

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