Police race to Texas high school after gunfire, injuries reported

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(Reuters) – Police rushed to a high school in Santa Fe, Texas on Friday after an assailant with a gun wounded people in the latest shooting to rock a country still shaken by the massacre at a Florida high school in February.

The school district in Santa Fe, about 30 miles (48 km) southeast of Houston, said the situation was “active, but has been contained.” Local media reported that a suspect was in custody.

“There have been confirmed injuries,” the Santa Fe school district said in a statement.

A Santa Fe Police Department spokesman could not immediately confirm details. Local media said a medical Life Flight was dispatched to the school.

The latest possible shooting at a U.S. school underscored a renewed national debate over gun control and gun rights that has intensified after an assailant killed 17 students and staff on Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Aerial video outside the Santa Fe school broadcast on local television showed police escorting lines of students out of the building and then searching them for weapons as many police cars and at least two ambulances with lights flashing stood by.

Sophomore Leila Butler told the local ABC affiliate that fire alarms went off at about 7:45 a.m. local time and students left their classrooms. She said some students believe they heard shots fired, and that she was sheltering with other students and teachers near campus.

Another sophomore, named only as Nikki, told ABC13 that: “Someone had walked in with a shotgun and a girl got shot in her leg.”

In February, the 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.

That was a false alarm, but school shootings have happened regularly in the United States since the Parkland massacre.

Last Friday morning 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.

Then 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, authorities said.

Reporting by Gina Cherelus in New York; Additional reporting by Peter Szekely; Writing by Daniel Wallis; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Susan Thomas

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