A fight at a Houston college campus today resulted in a shooting that left three people injured and two others in custody, officials said.
Instead, the authorities said, the shooting, at Lone Star College’s North Harris campus, centered on an argument between two men, at least one of whom may have been a student or former student.
Three people appeared to have been wounded by gunfire, including a maintenance worker who was shot in the leg. A fourth person, who was not shot, was taken to a hospital with medical problems.
The argument began as a verbal exchange and escalated to shooting, authorities said. A handgun was involved but no other information was given about the weapon.
The shooting shocked students, faculty members and administrators at the 200-acre campus. The school is in northern Harris County and about 30 minutes from downtown. It is so close to George Bush Intercontinental Airport that college officials said one can often look up and wave at the passengers, says the NY Times.
Joshua Flores, a senior, was standing outside the cafeteria with friends when they heard gunshots. “We thought it was fireworks, so we didn’t go anywhere,” said Mr. Flores, 21. “And then a bunch of people came running our way, yelling: ‘The guy has a gun! Run! Run!’ ”
“Later we heard people screaming, and we knew it was gunshots,” said the student, Jonathan Moreno, 19, a freshman.
The Lone Star College System is the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area, according to its website. Student enrollment is 90,000 and there are six colleges in the system.
A statement from the Harris County Sheriff’s Office identifies the suspect as Carlton Berry. Spokesman Alan Bernstein says Berry is charged with aggravated assault but remains hospitalized with wounds suffered in the shooting, writes the Huff Post.
An official with the Sheriff’s Office, Maj. Armando Tello, said there appeared to be only one gun involved. Major Tello was the acting sheriff because Sheriff Adrian Garcia was out of town.
An ambulance dispatcher said his company had transported three people to local hospitals. One of them was in critical condition and the other two were in “urgent” condition, he said.
No one was killed, but the volley of gunshots heard shortly after noon fear of another campus massacre just over a month after 26 were killed at a Connecticut elementary school.
There have been three shootings at schools and colleges in the United States in the past two weeks, reports the Reuters.
On January 10, a student armed with a shotgun critically wounded a fellow student at a high school in Taft, California, about 30 miles southwest of Bakersfield.
On January 15, a student armed with a pistol opened fire at Stevens Institute of Business & Arts in St. Louis, shooting a school employee and then turning the gun on himself.
Also on January 15, two people were killed and a third wounded when gunfire broke out in the parking lot of a community college in eastern Kentucky. Authorities said that shooting was a result of a domestic conflict.