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Lone Star College Shooting: 4 Injured In Texas College Shooting, 2 Persons Of Interest Detained (UPDATE)

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Three people were shot Tuesday afternoon at Lone Star College's North Harris campus in Houston, Texas.

KTRK reports the shooting took place near the campus library after an altercation between two students. Two persons of interest were detained after a brief manhunt for the second suspect. No arrests were made and formal charges were not filed Tuesday.

The campus was evacuated and locked down. A Twitter update posted by Lone Star College just before 3:00 p.m. ET said the situation is under control. The campus is closed through the rest of the day and will reopen Wednesday.

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HuffPost's Saki Knafo reports that Steve Sanders, the president of a student gun rights group at Lone Star College in Texas, heard about the shooting from a reporter.

"That's annoying," said Sanders, president of the Second Amendment Academy, a student group that plans shooting events in the area and describes its focus as "educating the general public in regards to the safe and proper use of firearms."

Knafo's article quotes Sanders as saying:

"Most people who go there are just kids. They don’t have a CHL" -- a concealed handgun license.

"I have a CHL," Sanders added. "But I never carry on campus. I never really thought about it. I guess I will now."

Read more here.

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The Harris County Sheriff's office said at press conference Tuesday afternoon the shooting was the result of a dispute between two individuals, at least one being a student, but no charges have been filed yet. The two suspects were injured during their altercation and have been hospitalized, in addition to a maintenance worker who was shot in the crossfire.

Another individual, a woman in her mid-50s, suffered a medical condition and was transported to a hospital.

They have not released any information about the identities of the two suspects.

Richard Carpenter, chancellor of the Lone Star College system, said several emergency alerts were sent to students, but many students told local reporters they did not receive them. Carpenter was not sure why they didn't get the alerts, but the buildings on campus do not have great cell phone reception, a student said.

-- Tyler Kingkade

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A maintenance worker was shot in the leg as part of the crossfire in the shooting at Lone Star College in Houston, according to a police spokesman and the college's chancellor.

The worker is in his 50s and is in stable condition at a nearby hospital, said Lone Star College Chancellor Richard Carpenter.

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In a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Lone Star College Chancellor Richard Carpenter said he hopes "things could be learned" from the shooting at his campus as the national debate on gun control continues.

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@ BreakingNews : Sheriff's office: Texas college shooting was altercation between 2 individuals, one a student - @AP; live video: http://t.co/27BBvPEs

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A recent HuffPost/YouGov survey showed Americans are split evenly on the question of whether people with proper permits should be allowed to carry concealed guns on college campuses, with 43 percent for and 43 percent against the idea. The other 14 percent said they were unsure.

While Americans are divided on whether people with permits should be allowed to carry firearms at colleges, only a third think more guns on campus would improve safety. Forty-five percent said banning guns was more likely to keep a campus safer, while 33 percent thought they'd be safer if more students and faculty were packing heat.

A handful of states currently allow guns on campus, and many more allow colleges to make their own decisions, which almost always results in a campus gun ban. Since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, many college presidents have spoken out and called for new gun control measures. One open letter, which has more than 300 signatures from public and private college presidents, specifically voices opposition to state laws that allow guns on campus.

Read more on the polling results here.

-- Tyler Kingkade

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The Harris County Sheriff's Office will hold a live news conference at 5:00 EST.

Click here to watch live.

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Ever since the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007, the National Rifle Association has backed a slew of bills designed to allow concealed handguns on college campuses -– including in Texas, the site of Tuesday's shooting at Lone Star College.

In the past two years, the NRA has supported legislation to allow concealed handguns at public colleges in Texas, Arizona, Idaho, Nevada and Arkansas.

The Texas Senate passed legislation in 2011 that would have allowed licensed carriers of concealed handguns to bring weapons onto public college campuses. But the law was never enacted because the House failed to bring it to a vote.

Republican State Sen. Brian Birdwell revived the debate last week, introducing legislation that would allow concealed carry on public college campuses.

The NRA’s Texas affiliate strongly supports the legislation, according to a press release announcing the bill:

The TSRA—the state-affiliate of the NRA—and our 45,000 Texas members strongly support Senator Birdwell and his legislation allowing adult Texas concealed handgun licensees to have this option for personal protection with them in their vehicles, on campus property, and in the classroom. Personal protection is a basic human right.

Arizona lawmakers defeated a similar push for concealed handguns on college campuses last year, after strong opposition from university officials.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 21 states have bans on carrying a concealed weapon on college campuses, while 23 others leave the decision to each individual college or university.

State law allows concealed weapons at public college campuses in five states: Colorado, Mississippi, Oregon, Utah and Wisconsin.

-- Chris Kirkham

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Is Lone Star a "gun free zone", as some reports are suggesting?

According to its website, the Lone Star College System prohibits people from "knowingly, intentionally or recklessly" setting foot on school property with a firearm.

However, the school code also suggests that "licensed handgun owners" will not necessarily be punished for carrying a concealed handgun onto campus:

II.F.1.05 Prohibition of Concealed Weapons

Unless otherwise allowed by state law, the System may prohibit persons who are licensed to carry a concealed handgun from carrying a concealed weapon onto its premises.

-- Saki Knafo

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KTRK confirmed live on air there are now two suspects in custody. One of the suspects was arrested by SWAT in a wooded area. The names of the suspects have not been released.

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KTRK reports parents are trying to pick up their children from a nearby high school and elementary school, which remain on lockdown. A daycare center is also located on the same street. All students are safe and accounted for, and around 60 parents are gathering down the street hoping to pick up their children.

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One out of four campus police departments are currently not prepared to handle an active shooter, according to a recent survey by Campus Safety Magazine of campus protection stakeholders. And 46 percent say they are understaffed.

Almost half report they do not have enough lethal and nonlethal weapons to face a threat, or enough training to handle the weapons they do have.

-- Tyler Kingkade

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CNN reported that Texas Gov. Rick Perry's office released a statement about the Lone Star shooting.

"Our office is in contact with state law enforcement and Gov. Perry has been briefed on what is known so far about the situation. His thoughts and prayers are with those that have been impacted."

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Tuesday's shooting at Lone Star College will undoubtedly be examined through a political lens as Congress gets set to debate sweeping gun policy reforms introduced by the Obama administration last week.

But it's worth noting the role that state laws play in instances like this. In particular, the movement to expand concealed-carry laws seems likely to be the subject of some scrutiny, especially if the initial reports turn out to be true, and the Lone Star College shooting was the result of an argument that got too heated.

Texas already has lax gun laws. But there are lawmakers in the state who have tried to loosen them even further. As a reader pointed out, just last week, a state senator introduced a bill that would let public college students, faculty and staff carry concealed firearms on campus for protective purposes provided that they had a proper license.

The bill, according to its author, Sen. Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury), was “about trusting citizens with their God-given, constitutional rights.”

-- Sam Stein

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A Twitter update from Lone Star College says the situation is now under control, and confirms the shooting happened during an altercation between two students. Three were shot.

@ lonestarcollege : Shooting around 12:31 today at LSC-North Harris between two individuals,three shot.Danger has been mitigated. Situation under control.

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Reports from KPRC Local 2 say all victims have arrived at local hospitals. Memorial Hermann hospital said no more are expected. Local emergency response crews are standing by.

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Mashable reports:

A school shooting at the North Harris campus of Lone Star College near Houston, Texas was reported Tuesday afternoon. One student, currently identified only as "Amanda," was stuck inside the building — but she managed to send messages to friends, family and reporters via Twitter during the ordeal.

Click here to read Amanda's tweets.

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One of the school's earlier messages said it was activating its "shelter in place" emergency plan. But what does that mean?

From the LSCS office of emergency management:

Were a chemical agent attack or possible active shooter to occur, authorities may instruct people to either seek shelter where they are and seal the premises (shelter-in-place), or evacuate immediately. If the order is to remain on campus or in your building, you will need to follow these directions:

Go inside and stay calm. Close all doors, windows, and other sources of outside air. Go into a room with the fewest doors and windows and seal the room. Turn off air conditioning or heating systems to keep chemical vapors from entering. Ceiling or rotary fans inside the building may be used safely to keep cool. Limit telephone use for emergency calls only. Overloaded telephone circuits may keep actual emergency calls from getting through.

Listen for authorities to tell you when it is safe to come out. Tune in to your local emergency radio or television station. For LSCS information listen for an announcement over the public address system, monitor computer and visual displays, or await word from local officials.

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Like many educational institutions, the Lone Star College System has guidelines to prepare students and staff for "active shooter" situations on campus, like the one at Columbine High School in 1999. However, early reports suggest Tuesday's incident is apparently not the kind of random or systematic shooting spree described in the "active shooter" preparedness guidelines.

-- Arthur Delaney

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Nearby public schools also went into lockdown mode, according to WCTV:

Several Aldine ISD schools are also on lockdown while the search for the suspect continues. They are Nimitz High School, Nimitz 9th Grade Campus, Parker Intermediate and Dunn Clifford Elementary.

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Jody Neal, 24, an art student at Lone Star, was identified on KPRC Local 2 by family members, who say he was shot three times.

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The Lone Star College System has a Second Amendment Academy devoted to promoting the safe use of firearms.

The academy, which features advisers from the Nationally Certified Range Safety Offices, is featured on the school system's website. The page was pointed out to The Huffington Post by a reader.

Second Amendment Academy is an educational student organization whose focus is toward educating the general public in regards to the safe and proper use of firearms.

We also look at current legislative action with respect to gun owner's rights and the Constitution. The Academy has had prominent attorneys from the Houston area and the National Rifle Association come in and speak regarding these fundamental rights.

-- Sam Stein

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Tuesday's shooting at Lone Star College is the sixth to take place on or near a college campus this month. The most recent was at Chicago State University on Jan. 16 after a high school basketball game, while there were also shootings at Hazard Community College in Kentucky and Stevens Institute of Business and Arts in St. Louis. Two shootings occurred close to campuses, one at Pennsylvania College of Technology and one at the University of Central Florida.

In 2012, there were at least five shootings on or steps away from a college campus.

-- Tyler Kingkade

Loading Slideshow...
  • Oikos University

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/12/oikos-university-shooting-one-goh_n_1419649.html">One Goh, Man Charged In Shooting Spree At Oikos University, Apologizes During TV Interview</a> PHOTO: A memorial at the entrance of Oikos University is shown in Oakland, Calif., Monday, April 23, 2012. Some students and staff members have arrived to resume class at Oikus University, the small California Christian college where seven people were shot to death. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Amy Bishop - University of Alabama

    FILE - This Feb. 13, 2010, file booking photo provided by the Huntsville, Ala., Police Department shows college professor Amy Bishop, sentenced to life in prison for capital murder in the Feb. 12, 2010 shooting deaths of three faculty members at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Court documents filed by Bishop’s lawyer in Norfolk Superior Court in Dedham, Mass., Monday, Oct. 1, 2012 say she wants to go on trial in the 1986 death of her brother in Massachusetts. The district attorney decided not to move forward with the murder indictment against Bishop because in that case after she received the life sentence in the Alabama case. (AP Photo/Huntsville Police Department, File)

  • Texas A&M Shooting: Gunman, Officer And Civilian Dead In College Station Shooting

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/13/texas-am-shooting-college-station_n_1773387.html">Texas A&M Shooting: Gunman, Officer And Civilian Dead In College Station Shooting</a> In this Aug. 13, 2012 photo provided by Rigo Cisneros, an officer takes cover, center, behind a vehicle during a shooting at a house in College Station, Texas, near Texas A&M University. Brazos County constable Brian Bachmann, a veteran of 19 years, was making what was supposed to be a routine house call to serve an eviction notice at the property when the recipient, Thomas Alton Caffall, opened fire and shots were exchanged. Bachmann, Caffall and another man were killed by the gunfire. (AP Photo/Rigo Cisneros)

  • CASPER COLLEGE SHOOTING

    Police investigate a homicide at Casper College on Friday morning, Nov. 30, 2012, in Casper, Wyo. At least one person was killed and another was wounded Friday in an attack at Casper College, a community college in central Wyoming. (AP Photo/Casper Star-Tribune, Alan Rogers)

  • Hampton University Shooting: Former Student Shot Two, Turned Gun On Himself

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/26/hampton-university-shooti_n_191574.html">AP:</a> A former Hampton University student armed with three guns followed a pizza delivery man into the student's former dorm early Sunday, shot the delivery man and a dorm monitor, then turned the gun on himself, university officials said. All three survived. No current students were injured and both victims and the alleged shooter were expected to recover. Officials could offer no motive for the shooting.

  • USC Halloween Shooting

    <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/01/us-usa-university-shooting-idUSBRE8A01E920121101">Reuters</a>: A gunman opened fire outside a large Halloween party at the University of Southern California and wounded four people in the second major shooting incident involving the urban Los Angeles institution this year, police said. PHOTO: University students walk to classes as Los Angeles police officers investigate a shooting that occurred Wed. night at a halloween party on the University of Southern California Campus in Los Angeles on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. Los Angeles police say two men apprehended after a Halloween shooting on the USC campus are still being interviewed and three of the four people wounded have been released from the hospital. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

  • Lane College

    On Feb. 1, 2012, a <a href="http://www.wmctv.com/story/16660276/man-critically-wounded-in-shooing-at-lane-college">21-year-old man was shot in the head</a> on the Lane College campus in Jackson, TN. He was not a student, but was shot in a parking lot in front of the school gymnasium around 6 p.m. that evening.

  • Hazard Shooting: 2 Killed At Community College Shooting In Kentucky

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/15/hazard-college-shooting_n_2483771.html?utm_hp_ref=college">Hazard Shooting: 2 Killed At Community College Shooting In Kentucky</a>: Members of the Perry County Sheriff Office respond to the scene at Hazard Community College on Tuesday night, Jan. 15, 2013, after a shooting at the school in Hazard, Ky. Authorities say two people were shot and killed and a teen was wounded in the parking lot of the eastern Kentucky community college. (AP Photo/The Ashland Daily Independent, Joshua Ball)

  • Stevens Institute of Business and Arts in St. Louis

    Police respond to the report of a shooting at Stevens Institute of Business and Arts on Washington Avenue in St. Louis on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013. A part-time student strode into the office of a longtime administrator at the school and shot the man in the chest, creating panic in the school before turning the gun on himself, police said. (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, David Carson)

  • Shooting Near UCF

    A double shooting <a href="http://knightnews.com/2013/01/suspect-named-in-double-shooting-at-campus-crossing-near-ucf/">took place near</a> the University of Central Florida campus at the Campus Crossing Apartment complex in January 2013.

  • Pennsylvania College of Technology

    In early January, <a href="http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2013/01/person_shot_to_death_near_penn.html">PennLive.com reported</a> the Pennsylvania College of Technology issued an email alert after an individual was shot to death close to campus.

  • Lone Star College - North Harris Campus

    Multiple people were <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/22/lone-star-college-shooting_n_2527806.html" target="_blank">injured on Jan. 22, 2013 in a shooting</a> on the Lone Star College North Harris campus in Texas.

  • Morehouse College Student Shot After Basketball Game

    <a href="http://www.accessnorthga.com/detail.php?n=257892">The AP reported on Feb. 2, 2013</a>: <blockquote>A Morehouse College student has been hospitalized after being shot over a pick-up basketball game. Morehouse Spokeswoman Elise Durham said the shooting happened at Samuel A. Archer Hall. Police spokesman John Chafee says officers responded to a report of a shooting on the campus and turned the investigation over to Morehouse campus police. Durham says four shots were fired and the unidentified student is in stable condition at Grady Memorial Hospital. </blockquote> Two of the people suspected in the shooting are believed to be students at the Atlanta University Center, according to the AP.

  • Indian River State College - Feb. 7

    On Feb. 7, a student was shot in the parking lot of a training complex near the main campus of Indian River State College in Fort Pierce, Fla. <a href="http://www.wptv.com/dpp/news/region_st_lucie_county/fort_pierce/indian-river-state-college-police-training-facility-shooting-reported#ixzz2KKMG1ISy">WPTV reports</a>: <blockquote>A female student at Indian River State College was shot and injured as a gunman and police traded fire Thursday in the parking lot of the college’s campus, a college spokeswoman said. The student was injured as police converged on the armed man in the parking lot of the Treasure Coast Public Safety Complex on the college’s campus at 4600 Kirby Loop Road in Fort Pierce.</blockquote>

  • Florida Atlantic University - Feb. 8

    WPTV <a href="http://www.wptv.com/dpp/news/region_s_palm_beach_county/boca_raton/fau-shooting-report-florida-atlantic-university-shooting-reported-on-school-campus#ixzz2KKGIzlWw">reported one person was shot</a> at Florida Atlantic University on Feb. 8, prompting an evacuation of the campus.

  • University of Maryland murder-suicide near campus

    Police said Dayvon Green<a href="http://collegepark.patch.com/articles/umd-wasn-t-aware-of-shooter-s-mental-illness"> lit a fire in the basement </a>of a house he shared with two roommates. When the roommates came outside, he shot at both them before killing himself. One roommate died, the other survived, and it was later found out that Green had a mental disorder.

  • Coastal Carolina University

    A shooting took place at a university residence hall at Coastal Carolina University on Feb. 26, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/26/coastal-carolina-shooting_n_2769939.html">Reuters reported</a>. One person <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/27/coastal-carolina-shooting_n_2770909.html?utm_hp_ref=college">was killed</a>.

  • New River Community College

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/12/new-river-valley-mall-shooting_n_3071919.html?utm_hp_ref=college&ir=College" target="_blank">The Associated Press reported</a> on April 12: <blockquote>CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. -- A man shot two women at a mall branch of a community college in Virginia Friday before he was subdued by police, a city official said. One of the victims was airlifted to a hospital and the other was taken by ambulance for treatment, said Christianburg city spokeswoman Becky Wilbur. Their conditions and identities were not immediately available.</blockquote>

  • Elizabeth City State University (2)

    Student shot near dorm at Elizabeth City State University, <a href="http://www.fox43tv.com/dpps/news/local/shooting-locks-down-ecsu_5958042" target="_blank">WAVY reported</a> on April 13, 2013: <blockquote>A shooting at Elizabeth City State University Saturday night put the campus on lock down. At a news conference today, the ECSU Police Chief Sam Beamon confirmed he spoke with a 23-year-old named Jake (we will not release his last name) and he is back on campus and was shot once in the right thigh. Beamon confirms Jake was shot outside Butler Hall, a university dormitory hall, late Saturday night.</blockquote> This was the second shooting on the ECSU campus within a week.

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Eyewitnesses talking to Click2houston.com say the shooting occurred during an altercation between two students. No reports so far suggest a gunman planned a mass killing.

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@ jtes : Photo: Lockdown in a Lone Star College classroom. http://t.co/I2oRAgbx http://t.co/zZFsJDkO

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@ KarenCNN : RT @cnnjustin: FBI and ATF have sent agents to assist local authorities at the Lone Star college campus shooting. #CNN #LoneStar

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From the Harris County Sheriff's Facebook account:

Our deputies are responding to a report of a shooting at the North Harris campus of Lone Star College. So law enforcement and other emergecny respondders are on the scene dealing with the reported situation. We will post more info once it becomes available. The site below has posted an emergency alert. We urge students, faculty and their friends and loved ones to be calm and monitor news media reports.

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Clicktohouston.com reports that the second suspected shooter, who is still at large, is wearing a red shirt and an Atlanta Falcons baseball cap.

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