(SANTA FE, Tx.) — At least tenpeople are dead after a student allegedly opened fire at Santa Fe High School in Texas Friday morning, sending students fleeing for their lives, said Texas Governor Greg Abbott.
The number of deaths “could be anywhere between eight to 10, majority being students,” Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said.
The shooting was contained and the school was evacuated, but explosive devices have also been found at the school and in surrounding areas, authorities warned.
Community members are warned to be on the lookout for suspicious items, officials said.
Friday morning’s shooting took place in an art class, witnesses said, ABC station KTRK in Houston reported.
“I heard the [fire] alarms and everybody ran out,” tenth-grader Dakota Shrader told KTRK. “At first all we heard was ‘run, run,’ and next thing you know we hear, ‘boom, boom, boom.’”
“Everybody started running,” she said, “and I tried to make it to the safest place that I could as fast as I can. I called my mom right away.”
“She couldn’t breathe, she was having an asthma attack,” her mom added. “I didn’t even know where to find her.”
One male is in custody and a second individual, a person of interest, has been detained, Gonzalez said, adding that both are students.
At least 11 people were transported to hospitals, including a police officer, officials said.
Among the injured are two people in critical condition, officials said.
As students lined up outside the building, ambulances, helicopters and federal agents swarmed the school in Santa Fe, between Galveston and Houston.
“I’m scared to even go back,” said one student, crying. “It’s just not something that you should feel throughout the day, being scared. Especially somewhere where we say the Pledge of Allegiance.”
“It has been happening everywhere. I wasn’t surprised it happened here,” one student told KTRK. “I was just scared. I just kept running.”
Friday’s shooting comes three months after the Parkland, Florida, high school shooting that killed 17 students and staff. The Parkland massacre prompted a massive, youth-led push for school safety and gun reform.
Just last month students at Santa Fe High School participated in a nationwide school walkout against school gun violence. The walkout was held on April 20 — the anniversary of the 1999 Columbine High School massacre that killed 13.
A Santa Fe student said they read poems by a Parkland survivor, held 17 minutes of silence in honor of the 17 people killed in Parkland, and discussed ways they could raise gun violence awareness and make their voices heard.
School shootings have “been going on too long in our country,” President Trump said today from the White House.
“Too many years, too many decades now, we grieve for the terrible loss of life and send our support and love to everyone affected by this absolutely horrific attack,” he said.
“My prayers are with each student, parent, educator and first responder impacted,” Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said in a statement. “Our schools must be safe and nurturing environments for learning. No student should have to experience the trauma suffered by so many today and in similar events prior.”
“We simply cannot allow this trend to continue,” she said. “Every day, the Federal Commission on School Safety is working to identify proven ways to prevent violence and keep our students safe at school. Our work remains urgent. Our nation must come together and address the underlying issues that lead to such tragic and senseless loss of life.”
Gov. Greg Abbott ordered Texas’ flags to fly at half-staff across the state.
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Source: ABC National News