At least 10 people are dead and 10 are injured following a shooting at a high school in Santa Fe, Texas, about 36 miles from Houston.
A 17-year-old male suspect is in custody and an 18-year-old person of interest has been detained, both of whom appear to be students, according to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. The suspect is injured, law enforcement said.
The shooter began firing around 7:30 a.m. inside an art class, witnesses said.
“We heard like five more bangs and a kid came out, had a black trench coat on, a sawed-off shotgun with a pistol grip, and I think something sharp on his chest, and then he turned and instead of looking our way he just grabbed the backpack and went right back in the art room,” Santa Fe High School student Damon Rabon told CBS News.
Student Witness Describes Shooting Suspect: “We heard 5 more bangs & a kid came out had a black trench coat off, a sawed off shotgun w/a pistol grip & something sharp on his chest & then he turned & instead of looking our way he grabbed the backpack & went back in the art room.” pic.twitter.com/JPza0AjReB
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) May 18, 2018
Sante Fe Police, the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office, the ATF, and FBI agents are all on the scene. The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said it is responding as well.
The high school’s approximately 1,400 students are being taken to the Alamo Gym at 13306 Highway 6 to meet their parents, the school said.
The shooter used a shotgun and a revolver legally owned by his father, Texas Governor Greg Abbott stated.
Law enforcement found information on the suspect’s computer and cell phone showing he intended to take his own life after the shooting, Abbot said.
This particular school has trained many times for an active shooter situation, students said.
Students described seeing others drop to the ground and blood on the handles of doors as they left. Those who were bused to the gym about a mile and a half away to reunite with their parents said the escape journey was made in silence.
One high schooler said he recognized the shooter and used to talk to him, adding that people should make sure those around them are doing okay before they snap mentally.
“He used to not seem like he’d do that, snap out of nowhere,” the boy said, adding that he remembers coaches as well as one of those shot today bullying the gunman.
“Law enforcement will continue to secure the building and initiate all emergency management protocols to release and move students to another location,” the school district said in a statement. “The district will continue to keep you updated as information is available. Safety and communication are our top priorities.”
Assistant Principal Cris Richardson confirmed that one suspect “has been arrested and secured.”
“We hope the worst is over and I really can’t say any more about that because it would be pure speculation,” he told reporters.
President Trump offered early words of support with those involved in the emergency, saying “God bless all!”
School shooting in Texas. Early reports not looking good. God bless all!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 18, 2018
School district Police Chief Walter Braun said explosives, pressure cookers and pipe bombs, were also found in the school and the surrounding area after bomb squads were sent out to investigate the possibility.
Santa Fe, Texas has a population of about 13,000.