SAN JOSE Calif. (KGO) -- San Jose police said at least 20 people, including children were inside the building on Monday afternoon, when a confrontation outside spilled into the busy library. SJPD said the shooter and a second suspect got away.
Hillview Branch Library is located next door to Clyde L. Fischer Middle School- a campus that dismissed students only ten minutes earlier.
"A very callous and very dangerous scenario," is how SJPD Officer Steven Aponte described the incident to reporters.
ABC7 News spoke with parents of children who were inside at the time of the shooting.
"My son, he is safe. He said he and his four friends, went into a room and they hide," parent, Nghia Duong explained. "And I told him to lock the door. But unfortunately, the library didn't have a lock on the inside. So I told him to put some kind of a chair against the door and just to block it."
Duong directed his son over the phone, fearing what could happen.
Police said it all started around 3:30 p.m. when two men chased a third into the library while firing at him. The person who was shot is expected to survive.
"This is like right next to the school," parent, Sandra Pinal said. "It's the same campus basically... And it's stressful."
Pinal's daughter was also inside the library. The girl and other young witnesses were interviewed by investigators and were later reunited with their parents.
Police describe the incident could've ended much worse.
"This isn't a type of mass casualty incident or a planned active shooter scenario. This is something that happened outside of the library, that trickled and fell into the library as a gang-related issue," Officer Aponte told ABC7 News.
However, after the recent string of deadly mass shootings across the country and the Texas school massacre top of mind for parents - Monday's seemingly targeted shooting is only amplifying concern.
"Now I get this phone call from my son- happening at the library you know? It's just scary stuff, you know? What's going on in today's society? And with these kids," Duong shared.
In response to Monday's shooting and in partnership with Santa Clara County, SJPD is offering mental health and other support services.
The library was also operating a polling location ahead of election day. Investigators anticipate it will still be open to voters, as planned.
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