At least three people — including a gunman — were shot at a Texas college following a dispute Tuesday, officials said as details trickled out from the chaotic campus.
The shooting comes as the United States is embroiled in a debate on gun violence in the wake of the horrific massacre of 20 first graders and six staff members at a Newport, Connecticut elementary school.
“The situation is under control,” Lone Star College director Jed Young told CNN.
“At first glance it appears to be (a dispute) between two people,” he said, adding that “there were two students we believe were shot in the cross fire.”
Police are searching for a second shooter, but he is not believed to be on campus anymore Young said.
The evacuation of the sprawling campus is nonetheless continuing as a precautionary measure, he said.
Television footage showed people lying on the ground and at least one person being loaded into an ambulance on the campus of Lone Star College near Houston.
Witnesses reported that a male was brought out of the library handcuffed to a stretcher, according to KHOU news.
Dozens of police fanned out across the campus searching for a second suspect on the loose, KHOU said.
A spokeswoman for the Harris county sheriff’s department — which is handling the incident — told AFP she was not immediately able to provide any information.
The college posted a warning to students on its Facebook page to “SHELTER IN PLACE if you are on campus. IF YOU ARE NOT ON CAMPUS DON’T GO TO CAMPUS.”
Efren Huerta replied to the post with the comment: “i was walking to my next class. and i heard about 4-6 shots. it happened in the library i think! i just took off running like never before.”
Dozens more offered prayers to the victims and expressed dismay with comments like “this is crazy!” and “this is sick!”