SANTA FE, Texas (Reuters) – A male student entered a Texas high school on Friday and shot dead at least ten people, including fellow pupils, officials said, just three months after a similar massacre in Florida sparked a youth-led “Never Again” gun-control movement.
Students said a gunman opened fire in a classroom at Santa Fe High School shortly before 8 a.m. CT on Friday, and that they fled in panic after seeing classmates wounded and a fire alarm triggered a full evacuation. At least nine people were injured.
It was the latest in a long series of deadly shootings at U.S. schools. Seventeen teens and educators were shot dead at a Parkland, Florida, high school 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 is detained and being questioned,” Gonzalez said at a news conference.
One of the two people detained is Dimitrios Pagourtzis, according to a law enforcement source who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to publicly discuss the investigation told Reuters.
Explosive devices had also been found at the school and off campus, Gonzalez tweeted. “Law enforcement is in the process of rendering them safe.”
The gunman was armed with an AR-15 assault-style rifle, a shotgun, a pistol and pipe bombs, the Houston Chronicle reported, citing an unnamed senior law enforcement official.
At least nine people were taken to area hospitals for treatment, hospital officials said. The conditions of those people was not immediately clear. Gonzalez said a police officer was also being treated for injuries.
Courtney Marshall, a 15-year-old freshman at the school, said the gunman came into her art class shooting.
“I wanted to take care of my friends, but I knew I had to get out of there,” Marshall said, saying that she saw at least one person hit. “I knew the guy behind me was dead.”
President Donald Trump said his administration would do “everything in our power” to keep guns away from those who should not have them.
“This has been going on for too long in our country — too many years, too many decades now,” Trump said in the East Room of the White House, where he was making remarks on prison reform.
“My administration is determined to do everything in our power to protect our students, secure our schools, and do everything we can to keep weapons out of the hands of those who pose a threat to themselves and to others,” he said.
Trump’s comments came months after he vowed to take action on school safety and gun restrictions in the wake of a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in February, where 17 were killed. At the time, the president, a member of the National Rifle Association who has strong political support from gun owners, said he would look at stricter background checks and raising the minimum age for buying an assault weapon, proposals that the group opposes.