Seven employees were killed when a gunman went on the rampage at a Saudi Ministry of Education office in the the Al-Dair governorate of Jazan, local media reported.
The attack took place about 2 pm local time (1100 GMT) Thursday.
Six employees — said to be teachers carrying out ‘administrative duties‘ at the Ministry of Education building in Al-Dair — were killed on the spot while another died at Al-Dair General Hospital.
Al-Watan and Okaz newspapers and Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya television reported that the alleged gunmen was a teacher. The authorities, however, described him as a “criminal.”
Okaz said the teacher was around 30 years old.
Al-Arabiya, quoting a correspondent, said he had issues with a supervisor at the education office. It is also speculated that he was suffering from some mental illness.
The attacker has been arrested but not identified, according to interior ministry spokesman General Mansour Turki.
“This is a criminal act,” said Turki.
Jazan police has begun an investigation into the crime. The perpetrator has been referred to the competent authorities for further action.
The state-run Saudi Press Agency did not immediately report the shooting.
State TV posted a still photograph that showed ambulances gathered outside the building where the shooting took place in Jazan province.
Following the attack, security was beefed up at Al-Dair General Hospital.
Mass shootings are rare in the kingdom. Saudi Arabia has faced a series of recent attacks by Islamic State militants.
The kingdom is leading a coalition of countries conducting airstrikes and ground operations in neighboring Yemen in support of country’s internationally recognized government.
Jazan, on the kingdom’s southern border with Yemen, has been targeted by missiles and cross-border fire since Saudi Arabia intervened in the conflict. On Tuesday, authorities said they shot down a ballistic missile targeting the city and that a police officer in the surrounding province was killed in a separate shooting incident.
In October, two people were killed and another two were wounded when a gunman opened fire inside a bank in the city of Jazan.