Updated at 12:55 p.m. ET
Multiple fatalities have been confirmed after a shooting at Santa Fe High School southeast of Houston on Friday morning, according to Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said.
“The number varies, but it could be anywhere between 8 to 10 fatalities at the school, including students and some adult staff as well,” he said.
A suspect is in custody, and a second person has been detained for questioning, Gonzalez said earlier Friday. The suspect is described as a current student at the school in Santa Fe, Texas. Santa Fe is a city of some 12,000 people and sits between Houston and Galveston.
Around noon, news of another potential threat emerged. The Santa Fe Independent School District announced, “Possible explosive devices have been located at the school and off campus.”
Police are “in the process of rendering them safe,” the district said, adding that the school was evacuated.
Gov. Greg Abbott is slated to hold a news conference in Santa Fe at 2 p.m. ET. The governor has also spoken with President Trump about the attack.
The shooting reportedly began before 8 a.m. local time, putting the school on lockdown and sending police rushing to the scene. Several witnesses have said the attacker was armed with a shotgun.
After announcing news of the shooting, the school district issued an update stating, “This morning an incident occurred at the high school involving an active shooter. The situation is active, but has been contained.”
As the situation unfolded, several ambulances and Life Flight medevac helicopters were called to the location, and a stream of them were reportedly seen leaving for nearby hospitals.
Gonzalez said that one officer of the Santa Fe Independent School District Police Department was injured and is being treated at a hospital. He did not have details about that officer’s condition.
The University of Texas Medical Branch said it received three patients — two adults and one person under 18 years old — from the shooting. One of those patients, a middle-aged man with a chest wound, is in critical condition, according to Raul Reyes, the hospital’s director of media relations. The other two people had been shot in the leg, he said.
A student at the school told local TV station ABC 13 that she had been sitting in art class when someone entered with a gun and began firing. The student said that she fled and that she saw a student who had been wounded in the leg.
Another student, named Paige, told the station that she was in a classroom a few doors down from where the shooting started.
“I heard really loud booms, and I didn’t know what they were at first,” she said, saying she realized what the sounds were after she heard students screaming.
Paige said she and others took shelter in an area behind a stage after being told to wait before trying to leave immediately. The student said that she and others had trouble staying calm but that there was not a moment when she felt like what was happening wasn’t real.
“It’s been happening everywhere,” Paige said. “I always felt like eventually it would happen here. I wasn’t surprised, I was just scared.”
In remarks from the White House, Trump offered his condolences and said the administration is monitoring the situation and that federal agencies are working with local authorities.
“This has been going on too long in our country. Too many years, too many decades now,” Trump said, according to a pool report.
The president added, “My administration is determined to do everything in our power to protect our students, secure our schools and keep weapons out of the hands of those who pose a threat to themselves and to others. Everyone must work together at every level of government to keep our children safe.”
The students behind the March for Our Lives movement, which started after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Florida, sent a note of support, saying, “This is the most fatal shooting since the one at our school and tragedies like this will continue to happen unless action is taken.”
One of the leaders of the group, Emma Gonzalez, added via Twitter, “Santa Fe High, you didn’t deserve this.”
As students exited Santa Fe High School, they left behind their backpacks to be checked by police and then filed onto a nearby grassy area alongside row of school buses. Images from the scene showed some students being searched by officers.
The same school was the site of a false alarm about a shooting back in February. In that case, students and teachers reported hearing “popping sounds” outside, as Houston Public Media reported.
Officers from the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office and the nearby Harris County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene; as did agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
This is a breaking news story. As often happens in situations like these, some information reported early may turn out to be inaccurate. We’ll move quickly to correct the record, and we’ll only point to the best information we have at the time.