Tragedy struck a school in the Houston, Texas area on Tuesday when one student was shot by another who then fled the scene and prompted an hours-long search by police, Breitbart reported.
The victim, from Bellaire High School, was rushed to the hospital while the manhunt for the shooter was conducted. Area residents were encouraged to remain in their homes and stay away from the building involved.
Student shot and killed
Unfortunately, the 19-year-old student who was shot was pronounced dead from a gunshot wound to the chest after arriving at an area hospital, according to CBS affiliate KHOU 11.
The incident occurred around 4 p.m., just prior to the end of the school day. The suspected shooter initially fled the scene, but was later found hiding behind a dumpster at a nearby grocery store roughly four hours later.
The alleged shooter and another suspect believed to have been involved in the incident were taken into custody by Bellaire police.
Classes canceled, investigation underway
NBC affiliate KPRC 2 reported that the suspected shooter was also a teenage student at the high school, and it appears that both the suspect and victim knew each other through the ROTC program. The cause and motive of the shooting remain unclear at this time.
Initially, the Houston Independent School District announced that classes at the high school would be held as usual on Wednesday, with additional security assigned to the premises, but that decision was later reversed, and classes were officially canceled.
“Our hearts go out to that student’s family, his friends, his classmates and the staff here at Bellaire High School,” HISD Superintendent Grenita Lathan said in a news conference Tuesday night. “It’s a tragic loss to our school community and our city.”
The superintendent noted that the district and school would closely cooperate with the police investigation into the deadly incident and said that grief counselors would be provided to assist students in dealing with what occurred.
“I extend my deepest condolences to the young man’s loved ones and to all students, teachers, and staff at Bellaire High school,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said in a statement, according to KHOU 11.
Shooter charged with manslaughter
The outlet noted separately that the victim was a senior at the school, while the suspected shooter, who has been charged with manslaughter — though that charge could be upgraded to murder — is a 16-year-old student. Police have yet to recover the firearm used in the shooting and asked the public to keep an eye out for any weapon that may have been ditched in the area.
This is a terrible tragedy that occurred for unknown reasons. Hopefully, an investigation can determine what happened and why, if only so the family of the victim can have some closure and the alleged shooter can be held fully accountable.