A shooting at a high school in Santa Fe, Texas has left at least eight people dead and one law enforcement officer injured, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez told ABC affiliate KTRK. Most of the victims were students. One suspect is in custody and another has been detained, according to a tweet from Gonzalez, who believes the suspects were students. The Santa Fe Independent School District reported on their Facebook page at 9:05 AM that the situation was “active, but contained.”
Police found two possible explosive devices, one inside the school and another off campus, according to a tweet from the Santa Fe ISD. Students were evacuated and transported by the school district to a nearby gym to be reunited with their parents. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms wrote on Twitter that they are also responding to the situation. Three people were sent to the University of Texas Medical Branch for gunshot wounds. Two were teachers and one was under the age of 18. Nine others have been hospitalized for injuries.
According to a report from KTRK, witnesses said the shooting took place in an art class, sometime between 7:30 and 7:45 AM. A student told the ABC affiliate in a phone interview that the shooter entered the classroom and opened fire. “We thought it was a fire drill at first,” the student said, “but really, the teacher said, ‘Start running,’” The student said she could not get a look at the shooter, but that she saw a girl with blood on her leg.
A student named Tyler also told CBS affiliate KHOU that he saw firefighters treating a girl with a bandaged leg. He also said that a fire alarm was pulled as the shooting was beginning. Dakota Schrader, a tenth-grader at the school, told KHOU: “As soon as the alarms went off, everybody just started running outside, and next thing you know everybody looks, and you hear boom, boom, boom, and I just ran as fast as I could to the nearest floor so I could hide, and I called my mom.”
Texas Governor Greg Abbott tweeted that he was heading to the high school and that he would be holding a press conference at 1:00 PM. President Trump spoke with Abbott, according to White House principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah, who said: “The President pledged to work with the governor and provide all appropriate federal assistance.” In regards to the situation, President Trump tweeted: “School shooting in Texas. Early reports not looking good. God bless all!” Later, President Trump spoke about the shooting to reporters at an unrelated event, saying: “Everyone must work together at every level of government to keep our children safe. May God heal the injured and may God comfort the wounded and may God be with the victims and with the victims’ families. Very sad day,” according to a report from CNN. First Lady Melania Trump also responded to the shooting on Twitter, writing: “My heart goes out to Santa Fe and all of Texas today.”
Students from Santa Fe High School had previously rallied against gun violence following the February 14th shooting in Parkland that left 17 people dead, during the April walkouts. Photos tweeted by a Santa Fe student show students holding a sign reading ‘#NeverAgain.’ The student wrote in a tweet: “We read a poem by a parkland survivor, handed out gun violence fact sheets and orange ribbons, did 17 minutes of silence, and then talked about ways to raise awareness for gun violence, and make your voice heard.” A student named Paige told KTRK: “It’s been happening everywhere. I always felt like eventually, it would happen here. I wasn’t surprised, I was just scared.”
According to the Washington Post, this is the 16th school shooting to occur in the United States this year, and the tenth to have taken place since the shooting in Parkland. It is also the third shooting to happen since May 11th, following shootings at Dixon High school in Illinois and Highland High School in California.