SANTA FE, Texas — At least eight people — possibly 10 — are dead after a shooting at a high school near Houston.
Shots rang out at Santa Fe High School early this morning. The school went into lockdown around 8 a.m. local time.
“There are multiple fatalities. It could be anywhere between eight to 10, the majority being students,” says says Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez.
He says adult staff members at the school are also among those killed.
“One male is in custody. A second one was a person of interest. Both are believed to be students here at the school,” he explains.
Police haven’t released the suspect’s age or any other details about him.
He says an police officer was injured but the extent of the officer’s injuries is unknown.
“Area law enforcement, including the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, is conducting a systematic search of the school, just to make sure there’s no additional students that are either injured or hiding,” says Gonzalez.
“We’re also making sure that we conduct a thorough search to make sure that there’s no other devices or anything that could be at the school.”
The school district has tweeted that explosive devices have been found in and around the school.
#UPDATE There have been explosive devices found in the high school and surrounding areas adjacent to the high school. Because of the threat of explosive items, community members should be on the look-out for suspicious packages and anything that looks out of place.
— Santa Fe ISD (@SantaFeISD) 18 maggio 2018
Dr. David Marshall is chief nursing officer at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. He says one man was undergoing surgery at the hospital Friday morning following the shooting. He says a youth has been admitted and a second adult is being treated in the emergency room.
“We hope the worst is over and I really can’t say any more about that because it would be pure speculation,” Assistant Principal Cris Richardson told media outlets at the scene.
School officials said law enforcement officers were working to secure the building “and initiate all emergency management protocols to release and move students to another location.” Students from the high school were being transported to another location to reunite with their parents.
One student told Houston television station KTRK in a telephone interview that a gunman came into her first-period art class and started shooting. The student said she saw one girl with blood on her leg as the class evacuated the room.
“We thought it was a fire drill at first but really, the teacher said, ‘Start running,’” the student told the television station.
The student said she didn’t get a good look at the shooter because she was running away. She said students escaped through a door at the back of the classroom.
Authorities have not yet confirmed that report.
Aerial footage from the scene showed students standing in a grassy field and three life-flight helicopters landing at the school in Santa Fe, a city of about 13,000 residents roughly 30 miles (48 kilometers) southeast of Houston.
The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said it was responding to a shooting at the school.
There was a large law enforcement response to the same school in February when it was placed on lockdown after students and teachers said they heard “popping sounds.” Santa Fe police swept the campus but found no threat.