Police have arrested a 51-year-old man on suspicion of murder and attempted murder following the “deliberate” hit-and-run collision in which a 12 year-old was killed.
Five youths, who are thought to be pupils at Debden Park High School in Loughton, Essex, and a 23-year-old woman were also injured when the vehicle ploughed into them outside the school on Monday.
Essex Police said in a statement that the Loughton man has also been arrested on six counts of attempted murder and one of causing death by dangerous driving.
He also faces charges including causing serious injury by driving, failing to stop at the scene of a collision and driving without insurance.
The arrest came after police earlier said they were searching for Loughton man Terry Glover, 51, over the incident.
Police also revealed they are investigating if it is connected to a similar incident amid claims a car tried to mount the kerb near another school in the area.
Helen Gascoyne, the school's head, said the community is "devastated" by the death of one of its students.
Chief Superintendent Tracey Harman had urged Mr Glover from Loughton to hand himself in. She said: “We have responded to reports of a serious collision on Willingale Road shortly after 3.20pm today.
“A number of casualties were reported near to Debden Park High School and sadly a local boy of 12 years old died after being taken to hospital.
“At Essex Police and on behalf of all of those called to the school our thoughts are with those, his family and friends and all those affected by what happened this afternoon.
“This has been an incredibly difficult day for the community and we ask everybody to continue to show their kindness and bravery that we have seen today.
“We believe that the collision was deliberate and as such we have launched a murder investigation, we are investigating whether or not this incident may or not be connected to an incident nearby."
Police were called to the scene shortly after the end of the school day, at around 3.20pm on Monday.
Essex and Herts Air Ambulance medics assisted staff from East of England Ambulance Service, while members of the public also gave medical help at the scene.
The 12-year-old boy was taken to hospital where he died. Two 15-year-old boys, a 13-year-old boy, a 16-year-old girl, and a 12-year-old boy, as well as the 23-year-old woman were also hurt.
Essex Police said they were treated at the scene or in hospital, and their injuries were not believed to be life-changing or life-threatening.
Debden Park is a mixed academy school for pupils aged 11 to 18, which specialises in the performing arts and received a rating of "outstanding" in its most recent Ofsted inspection, according to its prospectus.
A man whose daughter escaped injury after being clipped by the car’s wing mirror told Essex Live: “A Ford Ka mounted the pavement behind her. Her friend was bounced on to the bonnet before another boy was hit very bad.
“The car drove off down the road and the police arrived quickly. My daughter is safe, but the wing mirror clipped my daughter. Her friend got thrown off the bonnet.
“It was awful to witness. Everyone is in shock.'