Four people were injured Wednesday morning in a shooting at Timberview High School in Arlington, Texas, which police say began with a brawl.
One person was slightly injured and refused medical treatment, police said at a press conference. Three others were taken to hospital. Their conditions were unknown.
Police believe three of the victims were students and the fourth may have been a teacher. Two of the victims were reportedly shot dead.
The suspect has been identified as 18-year-old Timothy George Simpkins. Authorities said he was no longer at the scene. Simpkins is said to be traveling in a silver 2018 Dodge Charger with license plate number PFY-6260, officials said.
“This is not some random act of violence. It is not someone attacking our schools,” Arlington Deputy Police Chief Kevin Kolbye said. “It was a student who fought and drew a gun.”
Calls arrived at around 9:15 a.m. about a school shooting. Several law enforcement agencies, including Arlington and Mansfield Police, responded. The Dallas Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is also on site.
Although the school is located in Arlington, it is part of the Mansfield Independent School District.
The district said in a statement that the high school was closed but police cleaned the building. The students were escorted to buses around noon and taken to the Performing Arts Center to reunite with their parents.
“Counseling services will also be available for students and parents at the meeting place,” the district said.
A relative told NBC Dallas-Fort Worth his son was safe and hid under a desk as gunshots rang out.
“He’s just nervous and… in shock,” the boy’s mother said. “He’s just like, ‘Mom, where are you? Just make sure you’re here.”
School teacher Dale Topham said he was across the hall when the shooting took place and described how students immediately turned off the lights and took comfort in hiding.
“The students handled it pretty well on their own,” he said. “They hid. They huddled together.”
Timberview is a sprawling 17-year-old 75-acre, 416,000-square-foot school approximately 27 miles southwest of downtown Dallas. It has nearly 1,900 students.
This is at least the second state school shooting in less than a week. A Houston high school administrator was injured Friday after a 25-year-old former student pushed his way through a glass barricade at YES Prep Southwest Secondary, authorities said.
The suspected shooter, who was armed with a rifle, surrendered when confronted by police officers, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner told reporters.
It is a story of rupture; come back for updates.
David K. Li and Jean Lee contributed.