A shooting on a Texas community college campus wounded at least three people Tuesday and sent students fleeing for safety as the campus was placed on lockdown, officials said.
Lone Star College System spokesman Jed Young said two people were involved in a shootout at the school, and two others were injured after being caught in the crossfire.
Young said one of the shooters had been shot and was in custody while the other had fled the scene.
Melinda Muse, spokeswoman for the Harris County Health System, said two people were taken to Harris Health Ben Taub Hospital Emergency Center following the shooting.
Reports are not clear whether the shooter was among those taken to the hospital.
Aerial footage from local television stations showed police cars and ambulances parked on the campus about 35 kilometres north of downtown Houston. Emergency personnel could be seen tending to people on stretchers, while others ran from a building led by officers.
Following reports of a shooter, the college issued an alert on its website telling students and faculty to take immediate shelter or avoid the campus.
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 enrolment 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 centre, where they stayed for about 30 minutes before authorities told them it was safe to leave.
Tuesday, January 22, 2013