Gunman opens fire at private school in Saudi Arabia

Gunman opens fire at private school in Saudi Arabia
A gunman killed two staff at a private school owned by a prominent Saudi billionaire in Riyadh on Wednesday.
2 min read
The school was closed and no children were there at the time [Getty]

Two people were killed when a man opened fire inside a private school in Saudi Arabia's capital, Riyadh, on Wednesday.

The shooting was “a case of a disgruntled employee,” Talal Al-Maiman, CEO of Kingdom Holding and chairman of Kingdom Schools told Reuters, adding that the victims were a Saudi national and a Palestinian national.

The school was closed and no children were there at the time, said the US embassy in Riyadh.

Police were hunting a suspect of Iraqi origin who worked at the school.

"A teacher took a gun and then he went to the school room and he killed the assistant school principal and one of the employees," a source told AFP.

Investigators are treating the case as a criminal matter and "not a terrorist incident," the source added.

Saudi media spoke of "disagreements" between the suspect and victims.

"There has been a shooting at Kingdom School in Riyadh," the US mission said on its Twitter account.

"School (is) closed, no children present. Please avoid area," the Twitter post said, without elaborating on casualties or motives behind the shooting.

Most schools in Saudi Arabia are on holiday.

Kingdom School is part of a group owned by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, chairman of Kingdom Holding Co whose diversified investments include Citigroup and Time Warner.

The school, located in central Riyadh, opened in 2000 and offers boys' and girls' education from kindergarten to high school, according to its website.

The school has both a Saudi curriculum and an international programme leading to an American diploma.

Kingdom Holding says on its website that the schools group has more than 4,000 students and 300 teachers at various locations in Riyadh.