Three people are in custody and five were taken to hospital after a "large fight" took place on the street outside a Winnipeg high school on Thursday afternoon, according to police.

Officers were called at about 1 p.m. CT to Kelvin High School, located on Kingsway and Stafford Street in the city's Crescentwood neighbourhood, on reports of a dispute.

mi-kelvin-fight-120315

Police and emergency crews were called to the high school at Kingsway and Stafford Street around 1 p.m. (Trevor Brine/CBC)

"I can tell you they arrived quite quickly on the scene and it had dissipated quite quickly," Const. Natalie Aitken told reporters.

"The information we initially received was that there was … a large fight involved."

A number of injured people were found at the school. Officers were told the suspects had fled the area in a vehicle, according to police.

Five people were taken to hospital, with four people in stable condition and one in unstable condition. Police say the patient who was in unstable condition was later upgraded to stable.

One of the patients has since been released from hospital, a family member confirmed to CBC News.

Machetes, pellet guns seen

Three males were arrested after officers found the suspect vehicle parked on Scotland Avenue and Lilac Street, according to police, who did not release the suspects' names or ages.

Police could not say if the injured were students, nor could they confirm if weapons were involved.

Students at Kelvin High School told CBC News they saw other students with machetes, pellet guns and baseball bats.

The windows of at least two vehicles were smashed outside the high school.

As many as 20 students from Kelvin and another school were involved in the altercation, according to students.

Police say the attack was not random, and the two groups involved were known to each other. Aitken could not say if either group was known to police.

School was in lockout mode

In a news release, the Winnipeg School Division commended "staff and students of Kelvin High School for handling this emergency in a safe and efficient manner."

Kelvin was in a lockout mode for a brief period, meaning classes continued and everyone was allowed to move about the school as usual, but no one could enter or leave the building.

"School staff enacted their crisis response plan and put the school under lockout for a half hour as police dealt the matter," the division said in its news release.

"The lockout ended at 1:30 p.m. after being given clearance from the Winnipeg Police Service."

A lockout means classes continue and everyone can move about the school as usual, but no one can enter or leave the building. A lockdown means students cannot leave classrooms.

The division said it notified the parents of the injured students right away. Notices were also sent home with all students to inform parents about what happened.