16-Year-Old Boy Shoots Classmate at East Texas High School
About 300 people packed a church in a small North Texas community Monday night to pray for a girl wounded in a shooting at the town's high school.
The vigil Monday night at Central Baptist Church in Italy, Texas, was held to bring comfort to residents in the town of about 2,000 in the wake of the shooting at Italy High School.
A 15-year-old female student was airlifted Monday morning to a hospital in Dallas following a shooting in the small town of Italy, 45 miles south of Dallas.
Sgt. Joe Fitzgerald of the Ellis County Sheriff's Office says he doesn't know how many students were in the Italy High School cafeteria when the shooting happened.
Officials now say a 16-year-old male suspect "engaged the victim" and fired several shots from a semi-automatic handgun before fleeing the cafeteria. He was then confronted by a school district staffer and soon arrested by law enforcement on school grounds.
Ellis County Sheriff Chuck Edge didn't say how many times the 15-year-old victim was shot, but she was soon airlifted to a Dallas hospital where she remains for treatment.
Edge says a possible motive is unclear. He also says he doesn't yet know the context of the relationship between the boy and girl victim or what charges the suspect might face.
Italy Independent School District Superintendent Lee Joffre says that school will be held Tuesday and grief counselors would be on campus.
A fellow student says the 16-year-old male suspect has been violent at school in the past. 17-year-old classmate, Cassie Shook, who was at the school at the time of the shooting, says she’s complained about the suspect at least twice before to school officials, including a vice principal.
Last year, she says the boy got angry during a class and threw a pair of scissors at a girl. She says he also threw a computer against a wall. Shook says police came to talk to the class. She says the boy was removed from the school but eventually was allowed back.
"This could have been avoidable," she said. "There were so many signs."