Ten people were killed and 10 were injured in a school shooting roughly 30 miles from Houston Friday morning, officials said.
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick confirmed that nine of the dead were students and one was a teacher.
Authorities arrested a person, reportedly 17-year-old male who is believed to be a student at the school, and took two other individuals into custody as persons of interest.
The Associated Press and other media outlets, citing law-enforcement sources, identifed the suspect as 17-year old Dimitrios Pagourtzis.
Santa Fe Independent School District (ISD) Police Chief Walter Braun said police discovered explosive devices in the school and in the surrounding area. He urged the public to keep watch for other suspicious items as the bomb squad dealt with the threats.
Shortly before the briefing, the Santa Fe ISD confirmed the existence of possible explosives on Twitter:
Patrick said the shooting occurred in two classrooms. Gov. Greg Abbott confirmed that the weapons used were a shotgun and a .38 revolver. Police also found explosive devices in and around the school, including a CO2 device, a molotov cocktail, and other devices. The shooter was wearing a trenchcoat, which he reportedly had been wearing to school on a regular basis, to conceal his arsenal.
The guns, Abbott said, were owned by the suspect's father.
A senior law enforcement official told the Houston Chronicle the scene inside the school was chaotic and graphic.
"Officers inside encountered a bloody mess in the school," the official said. "Evidently, this guy threw pipe bombs all in there. We don't know if any of them went off."
President Donald Trump reacted to the incident at the start of a White House speech on prison reform.
"May God heal the injured and may God comfort the wounded, and may God be with the victims and with the victims' families," Trump said after promising that the federal government will do everything it can to help local and state authorities.
Patrick said there were two armed school resource officers posted at the school, and a third — the local chief of police — was en route to the campus to perform additional patrol duties when the shooting began.
The school resource officers confronted the shooter and one of them was shot. Patrick said the chief of police pulled that officer to safety and returned fire at the suspect. A Texas state trooper also fired back.
The wounded officer sustained a large loss of blood and was rushed into surgery, hospital officials said.
Sophomore Leila Butler told Houston ABC-TV affiliate KTRK that fire alarms went off around 7:45 a.m. local time and students left their classrooms. She said some students reported hearing shots fired, and that she was sheltering with other students and teachers near campus.
Another sophomore, named only as Nikki, told ABC13, "Someone had walked in with a shotgun and a girl got shot in her leg."
Sophomore Zach Muehe told Fox affiliate KRIV that he told a teacher he saw a student start shooting in a classroom, at which point the teacher began evacuating students and pulled the fire alarm.
In February, Santa Fe High school was placed on lockdown while police investigated a "popping sound" that was feared to be gunshots, but no threat was found, the school district said.
Abbott said what's different about Friday's shooting is that there were no real warning signs about the suspect.
"We have what are often categorized as red flag warnings. They were nonexistent or imperceptible [in this case]," said Abbott, who noted the only possible warning was a photo of a t-shirt posted to the suspect's Facebook page that said "born to kill."
"As far as investigations by law enforcement, arrests or confrontation with law enforcement, as far as having a criminal history, he has none. His slate is clean," Abbott said.
'Innocent Kids Getting Killed'
On Valentine's Day, 14 students and three adults were killed in a Florida high school shooting massacre. In that incident, a student walked into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and began firing. After his rampage, he blended in with students fleeing the scene before being captured a short timer later.
On May 11, a 14-year-old boy shot and wounded a student at a Southern California high school before fleeing the scene and being arrested, police said.
On Wednesday, a police officer assigned to an Illinois high school shot and wounded a 19-year-old former student who had brought a gun to the school and opened fire, authorities said.
Following Friday's shooting in Texas, 10th grader Dakota Shrader told the Houston Chronicle he heard the fire alarms going off before the shooting started.
"The world, I just don't like what it's becoming," Shrader said. "Every school shooting, kids getting killed, innocent kids getting killed. No family should have to suffer that just because somebody wants to be selfish and go out and hurt other people. It's just not right at all."
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton reacted to the shooting in a statement, expressing his grief and saying his office will responds as necessary.
"The thoughts and prayers of all Texans are with the people of Santa Fe and those affected by today's tragic shooting," Paxton said. "As horrific reports come out of Santa Fe High School, my office stands ready to assist local law enforcement as needed."
Galveston County Judge Mark Henry said during a police press conference, "This was a tragic loss of life this morning. It has been a difficult scene, a difficult time for everyone involved."
Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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