The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

January 22, 2013

Update: Texas community college shooting leaves 3 wounded


From The Associated Press

HOUSTON — Update:  A shooting at a Texas community college wounded three people Tuesday and sent some students fleeing for safety while others with medical training helped tend the wounded.

Harris County Sheriff’s Maj. Armando Tello said authorities had detained a person of interest.

Authorities also thought there could be a second shooter, according to a law enforcement official in Washington who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the ongoing case.

Students said they were studying or waiting for classes to start when they heard gunshots about 12:30 p.m. on the Lone Star College System campus about 20 miles north of downtown Houston. Some barricaded themselves in the room they were in, while others fled to nearby buildings.

Mark Zaragosa said he had just come out of an EMT class when he saw two people who were injured and stopped to help them. Officers had not yet arrived, he said.

“The two people that I took care of had just minor injuries,” Zaragosa told KHOU. “One gentleman had a gunshot to the knee and the (other) actually had an entry wound to the lower buttocks area.”

The college’s official Twitter feed said the shooting was between two people. Tello said three people were injured, but he did not provide any details about them, such as whether they were students or included the person who was arrested.

Mark Smith, spokesman for the Harris County Emergency Corps, said three people were taken to two hospitals. He said at least two had gunshot wounds, and one appeared to have heart problems related to the shooting. He said one was in critical condition.

Smith said previously that four people had been taken to hospitals.

Reginald Neal told KPRC-TV that his nephew, Jody Neal, 24, was one of the wounded taken to Harris Health Ben Taub Hospital Emergency Center.

“All I know he got shot three times. That’s all I know,” Reginald Neal said. “He got shot in one of his arms, in the stomach and the leg.”

The shooting comes one month after a gunman attacked an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., killing 20 children and heightening security concerns at campuses across the country. In Texas, several school districts have either implemented or are considering a plan to allow faculty to carry guns on campus. Guns are not allowed on college campuses, but the Texas Legislature this year may debate a bill that would allow them.

At least 10 police cars clustered on the campus’ west side soon after the shooting. Emergency personnel tended to people on stretchers and loaded them into ambulances, while officers led students from the buildings where they sought shelter.

Keisha Cohn, 27, who also is studying to be a paramedic, said she was inside a building about 50 feet away from where the shots were fired. She heard “no less than five” shots and started running.

She fled to the campus learning center, which houses computers and study areas. Eventually, a deputy showed up and escorted people out, she said. Like many students, she ended up leaving her car on the campus, which was evacuated and closed for the day.

Daniel Flores, 19, was in a second-floor tutoring lab with about 60 people when he heard a noise that sounded “like someone was kicking a door.”

Once he and others realized the sound was gunfire, they fled to the nearby student services center, where authorities kept them for about 30 minutes before letting them go.

Cody Harris, 20, said he was in a classroom with about six or seven other students waiting for a psychology class to start when he heard eight shots. He and other students looked at each other, said “I guess we should get out of here,” and fled.

“I was just worried about getting out,” Harris said. “I called my grandmother and asked her to pick me up.”



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Update:  A shooting on a Texas community college campus wounded three people Tuesday and sent students fleeing for safety as officials placed the campus on lockdown, officials said.

Harris County Sheriff’s Maj. Armando Tello said authorities had detained a person of interest. He did not provide any details about the people who were wounded, such as whether they were students or included the person who was arrested.

Authorities thought there could be a second shooter, according to a law enforcement official in Washington who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the ongoing case.

The school’s official Twitter feed said the shooting was between two people and that the situation was under control. It had issued an alert on its website earlier, telling students and faculty to take immediate shelter or avoid the campus.

Aerial footage from local television stations showed police cars and ambulances parked on the Lone Star College System campus about 20 miles north of downtown Houston. Emergency personnel could be seen tending to people on stretchers, while others ran from a building led by officers.

Mark Smith, spokesman for the Harris County Emergency Corps, said four people were taken to two hospitals. He said at least two had gunshot wounds, and one appeared to have had a heart attack related to the shooting. He said one was in critical condition.

Cody Harris, 20, he said he was in a classroom with about six or seven other students waiting for a psychology class to start when he heard eight shots. He and other students looked at each other, said “I guess we should get out of here,” and fled.

“I was just worried about getting out,” Harris said. “I called my grandmother and asked her to pick me up.”

The Lone Star College System has an enrollment of 90,000 students and six college campuses, according to its website.

Along with the college, four nearby schools in the Aldine Independent School District went into lockdown, a district spokesman said.

Lone Star student Daniel Flores, 19, said he was in a tutoring lab on the second floor doing homework when he heard six to seven shots.

“I didn’t think they were shots,” he said. “It sounded like someone was kicking a door.”

About 60 people were in the lab, and they began running out of the room once they realized the sound was gunfire, he said. They fled to a nearby student services center, where authorities kept them there for about 30 minutes before letting them go.

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Update:  A law enforcement official says Texas authorities have at least one person in custody in connection to the Lone Star College campus shooting in Houston, and local authorities think there could potentially be a second shooter.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss an ongoing case. The official says multiple injuries have been reported.

The Houston-area community college is on lockdown amid reports of a shooter on campus. Lone Star College System issued an alert on its website telling students and faculty to take immediate shelter or avoid the campus.

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A Houston-area community college went into lockdown Tuesday afternoon amid reports of a shooter on campus.

Lone Star College System issued an alert on its website Tuesday telling students and faculty on its Houston-area campus in north Harris County to take immediate shelter or avoid the campus. College spokesman Jed Young said it had received reports of a shooter.

Aerial footage from local television stations showed police cars and ambulances parked on the campus, emergency personnel attending to people on stretchers and at least one person being put into an ambulance. Other people could be seen running from a building led by officers.

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office had no immediate details.

The Lone Star College System has an enrollment of 90,000 students and six college campuses, according to its website. Its North Harris campus is about 20 miles north of downtown Houston.