US schools in Shelby County, Alabama, are bracing for a wave of shootings that has left four people dead and at least 10 injured.
The first victims of the wave of gun violence were killed after police stormed a home on Monday evening.
Police said they were responding to a domestic disturbance call when the officers found the man’s wife dead in a bathroom.
They also found a dead child and a woman whose car had been smashed and her body in a pool of blood.
At least 10 other people have been injured, and police said they are investigating several additional shootings.
“I am asking for the community to be on the lookout for more potential threats to the safety of our students, staff and community,” said Shelby County Sheriff’s spokesman Greg Stewart.
“At this time, we are working with the National Guard and other law enforcement agencies in Shelby, Alabama to contain the threat of further gun violence.”
Police said that as of 6.45pm on Tuesday, there were no known suspects or arrests.
As the first of the year comes to a close, some families and schools in the US are feeling the strain of the latest shooting.
“It’s scary and scary,” said Mary Epperson, who was in her second year at the Shelby County School District when her mother, Mary Epps, was killed.
“The teachers are scared.
It’s hard to get ahold of the teachers because they’re trying to do their jobs.””
It’s not normal.
It seems like the worst day of the week is here.
I have no idea what’s going on,” said her sister, Ashley Epps.
“Everyone is trying to keep their heads down.
Everyone is worried about their families.
There’s a lot of fear.”
Some students have already begun to leave school for the first time since the shooting.
According to the US Department of Education, the number of students enrolled in the Shelby Schools has been cut by about 1,400.
Many families, however, are still waiting for the end of the school year, which begins on April 16.
The US Department for Education said there are an estimated 6,400 students enrolled at the two public schools.
One of the main reasons for the cut was the school board’s decision to close the schools.
The board said it would close the doors and reopen them by March 20, a deadline set by the US Supreme Court in a case called Shelby v Holder.
But many parents said the decision was unfair to their children.
“I think it’s very unfair for parents to close schools and then not allow them to be able to return to school,” said Epps Epps-Gibson, who has a 4-year-old son at the school.
The school district said the closure would cost the district $30,000 in operating costs.
“Parents who are unable to visit their children during the holiday are entitled to a refund for the tuition they paid for the school period,” said school board spokesman Jason Bowers.
Meanwhile, students at nearby Westside Elementary School are still working through the worst of the shooting, hoping to find some kind of comfort.
The school was placed on lockdown on Monday after a police officer shot and killed a man who tried to break into the school’s building, according to the school district.
“We’re still trying to figure out what happened, and if we’re going to reopen,” said student Emily Stott.
“This is just really hard on everyone.”
ABC News’ Nick Giambrone and Amy Mettl contributed to this report.