Update via CBS The suspect in a has been identified as 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis, law enforcement sources tell CBS News.
SANTA FE, Texas – At least 10 people died Friday morning in gunfire at Santa Fe High school, law enforcement officials confirmed, while at least a dozen others were injured, according to area hospitals.
Police arrested a student suspect and detained a second person, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said via Twitter.
The dead are expected to include students and staff, according to a senior law enforcement official who was not authorized to speak about the investigation.
The assailant was armed with an AR-15 style rifle, a pistol, a shotgun and pipe bombs, the official said.
“Officers inside encountered a bloody mess in the school,” the source said, adding, “Evidently this guy threw pipe bombs all in there. We don’t know if any of them went off.”
The bloodshed 30 miles south of Houston is the worst mass shooting in America since February, when 17 people were gunned down at a high school in Parkland, Florida, according to a database of shootings maintained by the Washington Post.
UPDATE 11:33 a.m.: Officials said during a press briefing that “suspected material” has been found off campus and that people should not touch anything that they find that looks suspicious, and should call 911.
11:10 a.m.: The official identified an injured police officer as John Barnes, a former Houston police officer who was retired and working with the school’s police department. He was shot in the shoulder and is not critically wounded, the source said.
11:04 a.m.: Sheriff Gonzalez told reporters the number of dead could rise as high as 10. The suspect is believed to be a student, he said, and most of the dead are students. It is still a “very active” scene at the school, with a bomb squad and police checking to make sure the area is secure, he said.
11 a.m.: Gyl Switzer, executive director of Texas Gun Sense, issued a statement: “Our hearts go out to those affected by today’s shooting at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe Texas. We Texans love our children. We must do a better job of protecting them. There are proven strategies to reduce senseless gun violence. Today, Texas Gun Sense re-doubles our commitment to stop the killing. Work with us.”
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton earlier issued a statement offering thoughts and prayers.
10:53 a.m.: Yesterday, David Hogg, a student from the Parkland high school that reginited a national conversation on gun control, had a chilling premonition. He said gun violence kept him up at night.
“There is someone alive right now that will not be alive at this time tomorrow and has never even thought about gun violence, but everyone around them will have to for the rest of their lives,” he told reporters at an engagement in Los Angeles.
10:47 a.m.: Tenth grader Dakota Shrader said he heard alarms go off and students exited to a grassy area, waiting for an all-clear as in a normal fire drill. Then he heard three gunshots and screams of “Run! Run!”
Shrader ran as fast as he could to a wooded area, started having an asthma attack and called his mother.
“The world, I just don’t like what it’s becoming,” Shrader said. “Every school shooting, kids getting killed, innocent kids getting killed. No family should have to suffer that just because somebody wants to be selfish and go out and hurt other people. It’s just not right at all.”
10:45 a.m.: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a statement: “The thoughts and prayers of all Texans are with the people of Santa Fe and those affected by today’s tragic shooting. As horrific reports come out of Santa Fe High School, my office stands ready to assist local law enforcement as needed.”
10:40 a.m.: Trey Lemley, 17, said he was in the school’s first floor art room when a shooter walked in, his sister, Courtney Lemley, 19, said.
Trey dropped his phone and barricaded himself inside one of the room’s two closets, she said. When he left, he saw three bodies and pools of blood.
Courtney and her boyfriend, 19-year-old Austin Evans, graduated from the school last year. They said the art room is located near a main, back exit of the school, and the room itself has an exit that leads to the parking lot.
After being turned away from the school, Courtney and Evans walked to Arcadian First Baptist Church, where Courtney’s mother works.
In the parking lot, National Guardsmen gathered supplies before driving towards the school in a military vehicle. Small groups began to gather in the church’s parking lot, staring at their cell phones and sharing details they heard from friends and from news outlets
10:35 a.m.: The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston has received three patients, the hospital reported on social media. Two are adults and one is under 18.
Clear Lake Regional Medical Center in Webster received seven injured students, a spokeswoman for that facility said. Previous reports that an injured officer was taken there are wrong, she said. Two other injured students were taken to Mainland Medical Center in Texas City, she said.
The conditions of all of the injured are unknown.
An unidentified law enforcement officer was shot, but sources said he was “clipped” and was not seriously injured.
One source said the gunman was a male, but could provide no further information.
The shooter has been “arrested and secured,” said Santa Fe HS Assistant Principal Dr. Cris Richardson.
Several other students as well as an officer was injured in the shooting.
Joe Gamaldi with the Houston Police Officers Union tweeted, “Please keep the officers in your prayers as one officer is being life flighted to the hospital.”
Students described the gunfire, which broke out about 7:30 a.m.
Junior Liberty Wheeler, 14, was in class when she heard five shots ring out near the art room.
Her teacher told them to run toward the theater department’s storage room, where they hid for 45 minutes before being escorted outside by the SWAT team.
“You could smell the gunpowder that came from the gun,” Wheeler recalled as she was escorted out of the building. “We were all scared because it was near us.”
Paige Curry, a junior at the school, said “I was sitting in my classroom and I heard very loud booms and I didn’t know what they were. I was confused but after I heard screaming, I figured out what they were, got up immediately and started to run. I almost ran out of the school but I hid instead with the other students. I was there for maybe 30 minutes I was on the phone with my mom the whole time. They found us and escorted us.”
“There were a lot of people, a lot of different suits so I wasn’t really sure but I think they were SWAT.”
“I was very, very scared but I managed to keep calm, especially with my mom on the phone.”
“I heard people were hurt and the gunshots were from a classroom maybe three doors down. I heard five [shots] maybe. It was one boom, then another boom very loud. It wasn’t rapid.”
The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston is treating two patients, their conditions not yet being disclosed, said spokesman Raul Reyes. He said more patients are expected, including one currently being transported from the branch’s League City hospital.
He said a helicopter with at least one patient is on the way and more ambulances are expected.
Officers in tactical gear were deployed into the school. Outside, groups of students evacuated from the building are being patted down by authorities.
Deputies from the Harris County Sheriff’s Office were sent to assist Galveston County officers on the scene, according to a tweet by HCSO Sheriff Ed Gonzalez.
The ATF also confirmed it responded to the scene.
Richardson said he could not confirm whether there was more than one shooter.
“We hope the worst is over,” he said.