15-Year-Old Girl Injured in School Shooting: Deputies

Evacuated Italy High School students were bused to nearby Stafford Elementary School

A 15-year-old girl was injured in a shooting in her North Texas high school cafeteria Monday morning and a 16-year-old boy is in police custody, officials say.[[470514033,R]]

Initial reports of an active shooter were received at about 7:50 a.m. at Italy High School, located in Ellis County about 45 miles south of Dallas-Fort Worth.

"The first shot, it was like, 'Is this really happening?'" said sophomore Zackery Sandlin. "Everyone looked over there and there were two more shots and everybody was like, 'This is really going down.'"

Students said they ran for their lives.

Sandlin said the shooter pointed his pistol at another student and fired but missed and then apparently ran out of bullets.

Lee Joffre, superintendent of the Italy Independent School District, said the shooter left the building immediately after opening fire.

He was located and arrested by Italy police and state troopers without incident, according to the Ellis County Sheriff's Office, and taken to the Ellis County Juvenile Detention Center. His identity has not been released.

The victim, whose identity has not been confirmed, was airlifted to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas where she is receiving treatment. Her condition is not known.

Police said at a news conference that they didn't know the relationship between the victim and shooter.

Joffre would not say whether the suspect had any previous disciplinary issues at the school. He said that when the district officials became aware there was an active shooter, the district "immediately took action to get our students in a safe position."

A fellow student says the suspect has been violent at school in the past.

Cassie Shook told The Associated Press that she was just arriving at school when the shooting happened Monday morning.

The 17-year-old said she saw the cafeteria doors fly open and a rush of students running out after a girl was shot.

Shook said she had complained about the suspect at least twice before to school officials, including a vice principal. She said the first time was after he allegedly made a "hit list" in eighth grade and her name was on it.

Then last year, she said the boy got angry during a class and threw a pair of scissors at a girl. She said he also threw a computer against a wall. Shook said police came to talk to the class. She said the boy was removed from the school but eventually was allowed back.

School officials say they cannot comment on disciplinary actions involving students.

Video from Texas Sky Ranger showed police surrounding Italy High School, where students were being evacuated to a neighboring building. Evacuated students were bused to Stafford Elementary School where they were able to be picked up by parents, according to Joffre.

Joffre said the district is now working to reunite parents with their children. He said it was also working to make sure grief counseling was available for students.

"This is a trying time for our community and our school," he said.

Italy promotes itself as "The Biggest Little Town In Texas" and is located just off Interstate 35 between Dallas and Waco.

About 300 people packed Central Baptist Church Monday night to pray for the girl wounded in the shooting. The vigil was held to bring comfort to residents in the town of about 1,900.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us