Ten students were killed and as many injured when a teenaged gunman opened fire at a Texas high school on Friday morning, US media reported.

Among the slain victims was Sabika Sheikh, a Pakistani teenager who was studying in the US as part of a high school exchange programme, the Pakistan embassy in Washington DC confirmed.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Sabika’s family and friends,” a tweet by the embassy quoted Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry as saying.

Sabika, who hailed from Karachi, was a scholar of the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) programme and was due to return home in a few weeks.

The incident took place at Santa Fe High School in the city of the same name, located about 30 miles southeast of Houston.

“School shooting in Texas. Early reports not looking good. God bless all!” Trump tweeted.

The sheriff of Harris County, Ed Gonzalez tweeted: “One is in custody, a second one detained. An injured police officer is being treated, the extent of his injuries are unknown.” Earlier, the school assistant principal, Cris Richardson, told CNN that one suspect was in custody.

According to CBS News, the suspect in custody has been identified as 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis.

“This morning, an incident occurred at the high school involving an active shooter. The situation is active, but has been contained. There have been confirmed injuries,” the Santa Fe school district said in a statement.

“Law enforcement will continue to secure the building and initiate all emergency management protocols to release and move students to another location.” Other schools in the district were not affected, it added.

“There was someone that walked in with a shotgun and started shooting, and this girl got shot in the leg,” an eyewitness identified as Nikki told local television station KTRK.

Police officers move through the scene at Santa Fe High School. —AP
Police officers move through the scene at Santa Fe High School. —AP

The shooting was the latest in what has become an all-too-familiar situation in American schools, with shootings a near-daily occurrence.

Earlier this year, 17 students and staff were killed in a shooting at a Florida high school — a massacre that prompted survivors to launch a grassroots campaign against gun violence.

Multiple shots

In Texas, the eyewitness, Nikki, said students fled the school in a panic, and several other students told local media they heard multiple gunshots.

Parent Richard Allen told KTRK he arrived at the school soon after the shooting and reported seeing a number of victims being taken away in ambulances.

“My son said someone went into the art room and started shooting a lot of the kids,” Allen said.

Student Paige Curry told local media that she heard gunshots and then a fire alarm, after which students were taken out by teachers to a nearby gas station.

“I saw some girl — she had, you know, she got shot in the kneecap, I guess. So she had a bandage around it. She was limping and then the firemen came and got her,” another student, who gave his first name as Tyler, told CBS.

Television footage showed students being led out of the school.

Some students were evacuated to a nearby auto shop, where parents were picking up their children, according to KHOU TV.

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