A 19-year-old student of Bellaire High School in Texas was shot to death on Tuesday, January 14. A suspected shooter and his friend were arrested hours after the incident according to police reports. A 911 call about a shooting in the high school was reported at 4 pm. The caller told the emergency assistant that a student was shot and the shooter had fled from the scene.
The interim superintendent of the Houston Independent School District, Grenita Lathan confirmed the incident and the death of a student in the shooting but refused further information on the victim. According to KPRC-TV, the student was rushed to the hospital and was later pronounced dead.
Statements issued by the school district and Bellaire police state the suspect and another person were arrested about three and a half-hour after the shooting took place at around 7:40 on Tuesday night. Details about whether the shooting occurred inside or outside the school grounds remain unclear. However, the shooting is said to have taken place inside the school campus, as per reports by ABC news.
The suspect, according to multiple media reports, is believed to be 16-year-old, a possible classmate of the victim, and was arrested at 8 pm near a convenience store near Chimney Rock Road. The suspect was found hiding behind a dumpster according to officials.
Increasing Gun violence in school
Mayor Sylvester Turner condemned the incident in a statement that said, "a learning environment is the last place where young people should feel unsafe and in fear of their lives. Yet gun violence continues to disrupt schools and destroy families across the country. I extend my deepest condolences to the young man's loved ones and all students, teachers and staff at Bellaire High school."
Regarding the need for gun control laws, Turner said he supports the cause and is willing to coordinate with government officials. "I will continue to work with elected officials at the state and federal level, along with advocacy groups and all people who are ready to enact laws to protect our children," he was quoted as saying.
School to remain closed
While the school administration said the school would be open on Wednesday, the Houston Independent School District later released a statement that said classes would be cancelled. All staff members were also asked to report to campus on Wednesday.
The Executive Vice President of the Houston Federation of Teachers, Andy Dewey said there are cannot be any "excuses or acceptable explanation for killing such as this."
"When we learn more about the incident, we will determine if more security or other violence prevention efforts are necessary at our schools. HFT stands ready to help the Bellaire school community in any way possible during this tragic time," Dewey said.