Houston-area media citing unnamed law enforcement officials are reporting that there are fatalities following a shooting at Santa Fe High School near the city on Friday morning (May 18).
Television station KHOU and the Houston Chronicle are citing unnamed federal, county and police officials following the shooting at the school, which went on lockdown around 8 a.m. The Associated Press has not been able to confirm the reports. The school district has confirmed an unspecified number of injuries but said it wouldn’t immediately release further details. Assistant Principal Cris Richardson said a suspect “has been arrested and secured.” According to CNN, local affiliates report at least 8 fatalities.
“We hope the worst is over and I really can’t say any more about that because it would be pure speculation,” Richardson told media outlets at the scene. School officials said law enforcement officers were working to secure the building “and initiate all emergency management protocols to release and move students to another location.” Students from the high school were being transported to another location to reunite with their parents.
One student told Houston television station KTRK in a telephone interview that a gunman came into her first-period art class and started shooting. The student said she saw one girl with blood on her leg as the class evacuated the room. “We thought it was a fire drill at first but really, the teacher said, ‘Start running,’” the student told the television station.
The student said she didn’t get a good look at the shooter because she was running away. She said students escaped through a door at the back of the classroom. Authorities have not yet confirmed that report.
Aerial footage from the scene showed students standing in a grassy field and three life-flight helicopters landing at the school in Santa Fe, a city of about 13,000 residents roughly 30 miles (48 kilometers) southeast of Houston. The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said it was responding to a shooting at the school.
There was a large law enforcement response to the same school in February when it was placed on lockdown after students and teachers said they heard “popping sounds.” Santa Fe police swept the campus but found no threat. President Trump has reportedly been briefed on the incident and he acknowledged it in a tweet in which he proclaimed that “early reports not looking good.”
School shooting in Texas. Early reports not looking good. God bless all!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 18, 2018
According to CNN’s accounting this is the 22nd school shooting in the U.S. in 2018 so far.