A headteacher and a student have been injured after a pupil armed with two revolvers, a hunting rifle and grenades opened fire at school near Cannes.
One person, understood to be the 17-year-old gunman, was arrested and his accomplice is said to be on the run after the shooting at the Alexis de Tocqueville school in Grasse, according to a police source.
Anti-terror police broke into the building after the shooting and all schools in the town around 25 miles west of Nice have been locked down with officers patrolling the streets. Anti-terror police break into the school in Grasse, Southern France, shortly after the shooting.
Police officers coordinate operations near the Tocqueville high school in Grasse, southwestern France
A policeman wearing a bulletproof vest stands near a firefighters vehicle on a road near the Tocqueville high school in the southern French town of Grasse
A French Policeman wearing a bulletproof controls traffic on a road near the Tocqueville high school
Paramedics see to students who were evacuated from the school in France where a gunmen opened fire
Police cordon off the area as people gather to view the nearby high school following the shooting
Anti-terror police make their way to the scene of the shooting in Grasse, Southern France
A picture from the scene where a gunman is said to have opened fire inside a French high school
The Alexis de Tocqueville high school in Grasse, France, where the gunman opened fireThe arrested gunman at the school is thought to be a 17-year-old pupil.
He was armed with two revolvers, a hunting rifle, and grenades and was said to have been searching mass killings on the internet before the shooting.
The last photo the suspected gunman posted on his Facebook page was of an eerie Gothic skeleton figure with long hair dressed in a black coat and walking with a pistol in one hand an an assault rifle in the other, according to Nice Matin.
His two victims, including the school headteacher Hervé Pizzinat, were lightly injured.
The suspected gunman's profile picture
There were fears that the shooter might have an accomplice, and police were looking for him around the school grounds.
The first victim was also a student at the school, who alerted others to the presence of a shooter.
The gunman has been named by Nice Matin only as Kylian, and he was not known to the police, according to a source. A second source said it appeared that two students had opened fire on the headmaster, who had been injured, adding that the suspects did not seem to be militants.
'One of the two was arrested and the second fled.
'There was panic and the students took refuge in the neighbouring supermarket,' said the source.
An eye-witness student in the school interviewed by France Inter radio said the students had heard a bang and taken cover under the tables.
'I went to close the windows and saw a guy who looked at me in the eyes.
'He seemed to be a student and not very big. He shot in the air and ran away,' the student said without giving his name.
French Police officers control traffic near the Tocqueville high school in Grasse
An armed French Police officer controls traffic near the Tocqueville high school in Grasse, southwestern France
Policemen stand near police vehicles in the southern French town of Grasse, on March 16, 2017
An armed French police officer controlling traffic after a gunman opened fire at a schoolAccording to local journalist Soren Seelow, the gunman had researched The Columbine High School massacre - a school shooting that occurred on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School in Columbine, Colorado.
As well as shooting and killing 12 students and one teacher, perpetrators Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold planted a fire bomb to divert firefighters.
Propane tanks converted to bombs were also placed in the cafeteria and 99 explosive devices and carbombs were also involved.
As well as the 12 victims, 21 were injured.
The pair subsequently committed suicide.
The French government issued a warning of a terrorist attack in the wake of the incident after the man in possession of several weapons fired at the headteacher, Hervé Pizzinat.
It is understood the shooting was a targeted attack upon the headteacher, who in a statement welcoming students to the school said last year: 'Do not be afraid here - 850 pupils swim like fish in the waters of this establishment.'
He also said on the school's website: 'Parents and teachers alike, school, social and health care personnel are guidelines that guide the student in the stormy ocean of adolescence and try to avoid the reefs of incivility, the song of the sirens of absenteeism or the abyss of violence.'
Anti-terror police swarmed the school and arrived to warn neighbours to say indoors.
Despite the terror alert from the French government, Grasse town hall attempted to play down the situation saying terrorism was not a factor.
A spokeswoman told Le Dauphine: 'Two students shot at the headmaster.'
Minister Bernard Cazeneuve cut short a trip to the northern Somme area because of the Grasse shooting, as well as a letter bomb blast at the offices of the International Monetary Fund in Paris on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the education minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem has said she is on her way to the site.
The incident comes with France in a state of emergency after several militants attacks over the last year.
It is less than six weeks away from a presidential election in which security and fears of terrorism are among key issues.
Grasse, where a gunman is said to have opened fire on a headteacher inside the school
An envelope bomb exploded in the face of a worker at the International Monetary Fund's Paris office this morning.
A female IMF secretary suffered head and hand injuries in the blast, and damage to her eardrum.
IMF chief Christine Lagarde has branded the attack a 'cowardly act of violence'.
Paris police chief Michel Cadot revealed that IMF staff have received a number of threatening calls in recent days.
It comes after Greek radicals this week claimed responsibility for a parcel bomb that was sent to Germany's finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble.
French police are investigating a possible link between the Greek group and today’s attack in Paris.