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Shooting near US school sends 3 to hospital

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Portland, Dec 13 (AP) - A suspected gang member opened fire on a group outside an Oregon high school Friday, sending three young people to the hospital, police said. The victims are students at Rosemary Anderson High School in the northwestern city of Portland or in related job training programs, police Sgt. Pete Simpson said. A 16-year-old girl was in critical condition, and two males - ages 17 and 20 - were in serious condition, police said. A fourth person - a 19-year-old woman - was grazed by a bullet but not hospitalized. The shooting was reported after noon and happened at a street corner outside the school, where 190 students are enrolled, Simpson said. Witnesses told police there may have been a dispute outside the school, but police said they didn't know who was involved. The assailant and two other people fled, and the wounded students went to the school for help, he said. A nearby high school and community college were put on lockdown. Preliminary information suggests the shooter has gang ties, Simpson said. The Police Bureau's gang unit was deployed in the investigation. "That may not have anything to do with the shooting," Simpson added. "The students may not at all be related to gangs. We don't want to leave that conclusion with anybody." Rosemary Anderson High School serves at-risk students who were expelled or dropped out, or who are homeless or single parents. Gang violence in Portland isn't a new phenomenon. Some of the violence occurs between rival gangs, but bystanders have also been hurt. Portland police have said they saw a spike in gang crime this summer and have complained they don't have adequate resources to address the problem. Recent violence includes a man killed in a drive-by-shooting in June and another man killed in a separate shooting. A 5-year-old boy also was shot in the leg while playing at an apartment complex. There was another school shooting in the Portland area in June, but it was not gang-related. A freshman killed another boy in a locker room and a bullet grazed a teacher before the shooter went into a bathroom and died from a self-inflicted gunshot, police said.