Friday 23 March 2018

Two questioned over fatal shooting at Texas student digs

Police search the scene of the fatal shooting at Texas Southern University (Houston Chronicle/AP)
Police search the scene of the fatal shooting at Texas Southern University (Houston Chronicle/AP)

Police are questioning two men after a student was killed and another person wounded in a shooting outside a Texas Southern University housing complex.

The university quickly went on lockdown after the shooting was reported at about 11.30am local time on Friday in a car park at the University Courtyard Apartments, a student housing area on the edge of the Houston campus.

Students and teachers were told to stay inside until the lockdown was lifted after the two men were detained.

The incident is the third shooting on or near the campus in less than a week, though it is unclear whether they were related. Friday's shootings also came on the same day as a fatal shooting at Northern Arizona University, and about a week after eight students and a teacher were murdered at a community college in Oregon.

"Like President Obama says, this is getting to be too regular," Texas Southern president John Rudley said.

Mr Rudley said the Texas Southern student who was killed was a freshman. The second victim, who was shot twice, is hospital in a stable condition.

Mr Rudley urged the school's 9,700 students to be more vigilant, noting that "we're in the inner city. Crime is all around us". He also criticised what he said was a culture among some students who believe they should not snitch on each other.

Houston police are still searching for a third man and are trying to determine a motive for the shooting, spokeswoman Jodi Silva said.

She would not say whether police believed the suspected shooter was in custody but noted that police were not treating the case as an "active shooter" investigation, partly because witnesses said the gunman was not moving from place to place and fled after the shooting.

The fatal shooting came hours after another shooting near the same student-housing complex injured one person. In response to the pre-dawn shooting, the university said it would increase police on campus. On Tuesday, university police said a shooting after a poetry slam on campus injured another man.

"My main concern is what they're going to do now," Daijsa Fowls, a 19-year-old pharmacy student from Houston, said as she stood outside the housing complex's gate. "I'm supposed to be moving on campus and it shakes me up."

Ms Fowls said she had a three-year-old son and would not feel safe walking with him on campus. She said she planned to move into one of the nearby housing units but was now considering transferring to another school.

"A bullet has no name," she said. "It could hit anybody."

Brittney Solomon, a 19-year-old psychology student from Houston, said she also planned to move to campus.

"I'm most definitely concerned," she said. "It's really nerve-racking feeling that a person here could have a gun."

Classes at the university will resume on Monday.

:: Hundreds of fearful students failed to turn up for classes at a high school in Alabama after several suicide notes were found from a pupil who said he was going to kill himself on campus.

Hoover High School spokesman Jason Gaston said about 600 of the school's 2,950 pupils were marked absent on Friday.

Police captain Gregg Rector said identical suicide notes were found on Monday in the boys' toilets on each floor of the school, in a suburb of Birmingham. The writer threatened to commit suicide on campus on Friday.

The student was identified on Thursday and was receiving help, police said.

Mr Gaston said the school respected the decision of parents who decided to keep pupils home on Friday.

Press Association

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