Ten people are dead after a shooting at a Texas high school Friday, authorities said. Explosives were found on the school campus and off the grounds, officials said.
Nine students and one adult were killed at Santa Fe High School, a law enforcement official said Friday.
The official, who is not authorized to comment publicly, said multiple pipe-bomb-type explosives were recovered at the school, though the official said investigators were still going through the school.
The 17-year-old suspect was armed with at least one rifle or shotgun, said the official who cautioned that there could be other weapons related to the incident, though not yet recovered.
At least one other person was in custody, but the official believed the person was not believed to be a suspect.
Police and the Santa Fe Independent School District announced that explosives were found at the school and off campus, so they urged people to report any suspicious items found around town.
“There have been confirmed reports of explosives found on the campus and off the campus,” Santa Fe Police Chief Jeff Powell said. “That’s our main concern is to keep our community safe.”
Three people from the scene at Santa Fe High School have been admitted to the University of Texas Medical Branch, according to spokesman Raul Reyes.
One patient, an adult man who is believed to work as a police officer at the school, is in critical condition and undergoing surgery, Reyes said. The other two patients are a minor, presumably a student, and a middle-aged woman. Both were shot in the leg and are receiving treatment.
“He is critically ill and stable” in the operating room, Gulshan Sharma, the chief medical officer, said at noon central time of the patient in surgery. The other two patients were stable and in fair condition, he said.
The hospital was not anticipating receiving additional patients from the scene.
Nine patients from the scene were transferred to other Houston-area hospitals. Clear Lake Regional Medical Center in Webster has admitted seven patients and Mainland Medical Center in Texas City has admitted two.
First responders received the first calls about the incident at 7:32 a.m. Witnesses fleeing the scene described a shooter opening fire inside a classroom, as students ran from the school, jumping over fences and fleeing to a nearby carwash, according to KTRK-TV in Houston.
“I was shaking, my anxiety was bad,” Megan Hunter said after fleeing her classroom. “I don’t even know what to think.”
Reports varied about who pulled the fire alarm. Some students told reporters that students pulled the alarm after seeing the gunman, and one said a former Marine who is a teacher at the school pulled the alarm.
But Tyler Turner, a student at the school, told Fox News that the gunman pulled the alarm. Turner said a few of his friends walked past the gunman, who looked suspicious.
“He pulled the fire alarm so we all went outside, and then we heard 3 shots,” Turner said.
Leila Butler, another student, told CNN she didn’t hear gunshots, but just the fire drill that prompted the evacuation.
“We’re all really just devastated that such a tragedy could happen in our small town,” she said. Coupled with Hurricane Harvey at the start of the school year, “it’s more than we can handle,” she said.
TV aerial footage showed groups of students being herded out of the rear of the school and a sheet believed to be covering a body on the lawn outside. Yellow buses stood at the ready to shuttle students away.
Source: Mary Ann Cavazos Beckett,Rick Jervis,Bart Jansen and Kevin Johnson, Corpus Christi
Photo Credit: KWQC
Photo Credit: NBC News
Photo Credit: KAAL