Eight killed in Texas school shooting spree

Published May 19, 2018
HOUSTON: Emergency personnel and law enforcement officers rush to a high school on Friday after an active shooter was reported to be on its campus in Santa Fe, Texas.—AP
HOUSTON: Emergency personnel and law enforcement officers rush to a high school on Friday after an active shooter was reported to be on its campus in Santa Fe, Texas.—AP

SANTA FE: At least eight people were killed on Friday in a shooting at a high school in Santa Fe, Texas. Officers took a student suspected of carrying out the attack into custody, the local sheriff said.

The sound of gunshots tore through the air at Santa Fe High School shortly before 8am on Friday, witnesses told local media, and live TV images showed lines of students evacuating the building while heavily armed police responded to the scene.

The incident was the latest in a long series of deadly shootings at US schools. Seventeen teens and educators were shot dead at a high school in Parkland, Florida, in February -- a massacre that stirred the nation’s long-running debate over gun ownership.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said that eight to 10 people, both students and adults, died in the incident at the school about 30 miles southeast of Houston.

“There is one person, a suspect, in custody and a second possible person of interest that was detained and being questioned,” Sheriff Gonzalez said at a press conference. He added that the scene was secure with officers searching the building to ensure there were no remaining threats.

Official says student suspected of carrying out attack has been taken into custody

At least nine people were taken to area hospitals for treatment, hospital officials said. The conditions of those people were not immediately clear. Sheriff Gonzalez said that a police officer was also being treated for injuries. Investigators discovered possible explosive devices at the school and off campus, the city’s school district said on Twitter.

Sophomore Leila Butler told the local ABC affiliate that fire alarms went off at about 7.45 am and students left their classrooms. She said some students believe they heard shots fired, and that she was sheltering with other students and teachers near campus.

A male student, who did not identify himself, described fleeing the scene in an interview with CBS affiliate KHOU.

“Three shots that I heard, so we all took off in the back and I tried to get into the trees, I didn’t want to be in sight. I heard four more shots, and then we jumped the fence to somebody’s house,” the student said.

Another sophomore, Dakota Shrader, told Fox 26 TV that her 17-year-old girlfriend told her by phone that she was wounded but was recovering in a hospital.

“My friend got injured,” she said, adding that her friend had been shot in the leg. Dr David Marshall, chief nursing officer at the University of Texas Medical Branch, said that the hospital was treating at least three patients - two adults and one person under 18. He said it was not immediately clear if that child was a student.

US President Donald Trump called the latest school massacre heartbreaking.

Published in Dawn, May 19th, 2018

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