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Police use anti-KKK law to arrest people protesting neo-Nazis

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 2:44 AM

Counterprotesters are held by law enforcement officers as the National Socialist Movement holds a rally at Greenville Street Park in downtown Newnan on Saturday, April 21, 2018. The far-right hate group also drew anti-fascist demonstrators as well as hundreds of police officers. (HYOSUB SHIN / AJC)
HYOSUB SHIN / AJC
Counterprotesters are held by law enforcement officers as the National Socialist Movement holds a rally at Greenville Street Park in downtown Newnan on Saturday, April 21, 2018. The far-right hate group also drew anti-fascist demonstrators as well as hundreds of police officers. (HYOSUB SHIN / AJC)(HYOSUB SHIN / AJC)

Faced with hundreds of demonstrators rallying against a crowd of neo-Nazis in Newnan, Georgia, authorities turned to a little-known Georgia law adopted in 1951 to combat the Ku Klux Klan.

>> Tension, arrests at neo-Nazi rally in metro Atlanta

The law, which makes it illegal to wear a mask at most public events, was cited in several of the arrests of counterdemonstrators who joined a protest Saturday against white supremacists.

And the irony was not lost upon the organizers of the counterdemonstration, who were fuming Sunday that a law aimed at weakening white supremacists was used to arrest protesters who opposed a neo-Nazi rally.

“They were trying to stop us, and we were trying to dial down the racist stuff,” said Jeremy Ortega, a 19-year-old who was among the counterprotesters charged with a misdemeanor for wearing a mask.

He said many of the demonstrators wore masks to avoid being identified and threatened by white power groups.

“We were peacefully protesting, yet they put guns in our faces and told us to take our masks off,” said Ortega, who added that he is considering filing a civil lawsuit. “It made no sense.”

State and local authorities did not comment on specific allegations of abuse on Sunday. But Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vernon Keenan said the overwhelming security – nearly 700 law enforcement officers were on hand – helped prevent the clashes from escalating.

“Making arrests in a volatile situation is never going to be pretty,” Keenan said.

No one from the white supremacist group was arrested on Saturday, and they largely avoided confrontations with police or the counterdemonstration group. The two dozen white supremacists who attended the rally were separated from the group by an 8-foot fence – and hundreds of armed officers.

‘Remove your mask’

On Sunday, a coalition of counterprotest groups planned a vigil at the Coweta County Jail to criticize what they said was excessive violence by police.

The Huffington Post reported that a contingent of officers approached a group of 50 counterdemonstrators before the rally and demanded they remove their masks or face arrests. The news outlet wrote that officers then “grabbed those who were still masked, tossing them to the ground and handcuffing them.”

A video posted on social media by freelance journalist Daniel Shular appeared to show authorities scuffling with counterdemonstrators. Authorities demanded that the counterprotesters remove their masks, and the footage showed an officer raising his rifle at demonstrators.

“Remove your mask, or you will be arrested,” said an officer in the video, which shows a ring of demonstrators standing with their hands raised aloft. Several are chanting “hands up, don’t shoot.”

A counterprotester kneels with his hands up in front of law enforcement officers during a neo-Nazi rally at Greenville Street Park in downtown Newnan on Saturday, April 21, 2018. (HYOSUB SHIN / AJC)(HYOSUB SHIN / AJC)

An Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter who attempted to report on the confrontation during the rally was obstructed by authorities.

Several other counterdemonstrators faced violations that have nothing to do with the anti-mask law.

Daniel Hanley was charged with obstruction of a pedestrian roadway after he said he nonviolently resisted a police officer who confronted him. He said he believes he was arrested because he was wielding a megaphone and leading chants against the white supremacists.

“They were trying to find any pretext to shut us down,” Hanley, 36, said of the authorities. “The moment we stepped foot there, they intimated us and strategically tried to target people.”

‘Absolutely satisfied’

State law bans the wearing of masks, hoods or other devices that conceal a person’s identity if they’re on public property or on private property where the owner has not consented. It includes exceptions for holidays, theatrical productions, civil emergencies and sporting events.

The laws have been adopted by about a dozen states, most aimed at weakening the KKK in the middle of the 20th century. The Georgia Supreme Court in 1990 upheld the state’s ban after a Klansman donned a hood on the Lawrenceville Square, citing his First Amendment rights.

The law has mostly been used to target KKK demonstrations, though it has also been employed before to arrest demonstrators who are objecting to white power groups. At a 2016 rally, the law was used to arrest eight demonstrators protesting a white supremacist rally at Stone Mountain Park.

Barricades and fencing are in place around a city park in Newnan as police prepared for Saturday's rally by a neo-Nazi group on Saturday, April 21, 2018. The neo-Nazis expected a turnout of 50 to 100, but only a couple dozen showed up. They were well outnumbered by counterprotesters and law enforcement officers. (HYOSUB SHIN / AJC)(HYOSUB SHIN / AJC)

In a strange turn, it also was invoked ahead of a press conference last year at the Gold Dome, when supporters of Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle threatened to hire performers in circus masks to interrupt a rival’s event. The clowns never showed up.

>> Read more trending news 

Authorities said they were intent on enforcing that law and others as they studied how law enforcement officials handled white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017 to prepare for the Newnan event.

In Charlottesville, officers remained largely passive as bloody clashes raged around them, and the event soon spiraled out of control. One person was killed and dozens more were injured in the violence.

“You have to have adequate resources and the intent to enforce the law,” Keenan said. “We had both.”

He said officers made clear to both groups that masks and some weapons were not allowed. He said authorities found an abandoned backpack with smoke bombs at one checkpoint. State law allows demonstrators to carry firearms if they are licensed; on Saturday, several were spotted sporting firearms.

“We maintained security. We would not let there be disorder. We didn’t have civil disorder, property damage. And we had just a few arrests,” Keenan said. “We are absolutely satisfied.”

MORE COVERAGE FROM AJC.COM: 

>> Reports from Newnan as the rally and counterprotest were underway

>> How social media reacted

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1 dead in mountain lion attack in Washington, investigators say

Published: Saturday, May 19, 2018 @ 4:55 PM

1 Dead, 1 Injured in Mountain Lion Attack

mountain lion attacked two bikers, leaving one dead Saturday, according to King County Sheriff's officials. 

>> See a photo of the mountain lion here (WARNING: Graphic)

>> Read more trending news

Emergency crews responded to a report of a mountain lion attack in the foothills near North Bend around 11:20 a.m. Saturday, Eastside fire officials said. 

 

King County Sheriff's officials said two mountain bikers were attacked. One was killed. Another is unaccounted for.

 

KIRO 7's Deborah Horne reports the injured mountain biker was taken to Harborview for treatment. Responders found the mountain biker who was killed with the big cat still standing over the body. 

 

Wildlife officials will now work to find the cougar.

Cougars, also known as mountain lions, are the largest members of the cat family in Washington state, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Mountain lions can be found throughout Washington state, Department of Fish and Wildlife officials say, where suitable cover and prey live.

Officials with the department offer this advice for anyone who encounters a cougar in the wild:

  • Stop, stand tall and don't run. Pick up small children. Don't run. A cougar's instinct is to chase.
  • Do not approach the animal, especially if it is near a kill or with kittens.
  • Try to appear larger than the cougar. Never take your eyes off the animal or turn your back. Do not crouch down or try to hide.
  • If the animal displays aggressive behavior, shout, wave your arms and throw rocks. The idea is to convince the cougar that you are not prey, but a potential danger.
  • If the cougar attacks, fight back aggressively and try to stay on your feet. Cougars have been driven away by people who have fought back.
This is a developing story. Check with KIRO7.com for updates.

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Man who claimed to be passenger in fatal crash was driver, prosecutors say

Published: Friday, May 18, 2018 @ 11:29 AM

Prosecutors: Man Who Claimed to be Passenger in Fatal Car Crash was Driver

A man who claimed to be a passenger in a fatal 2016 crash was driving the vehicle that killed his friend, prosecutors said Wednesday. 

>> Read more trending news

Jack Henry Kaplan, 22, told police officers responding to an October 2016 crash that he was too intoxicated to drive, so his friend James Dupler took the wheel instead, Boone County Sheriff’s officials said

However, after nearly two years of investigating, prosecutors believe Kaplan, who was found outside the vehicle near the driver’s door, lied about being the passenger. 

Kaplan, of Zionsville, called his father before dialing 911, leaving him at the scene for nearly an hour before emergency responders arrived. 

“These evidentiary facts were found through time and diligent work then presented to the Boone County Prosecutor’s Office,” Sheriff Mike Nielsen said in a statement. “They reviewed the facts and the overwhelming evidence in the probable cause affidavit, and believed there is enough to charge Mr. Kaplan with this crime.”

Kaplan was arrested and charged with failure to remain at the scene of an accident, reckless homicide, failure to remain at the scene of an accident resulting in death, causing death when operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, causing death when operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level of .08 or more, obstruction of justice, operating a vehicle while intoxicated endangering a person, operating a vehicle while intoxicated, operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol level of .08 or more and public intoxication.

“Our family would like to sincerely thank the tireless efforts of the Boone County Investigative Team in finding the truth and honoring James' memory,” the Dupler family said in a statement. “There is hope in Jesus, and a measure of peace in knowing the truth.”

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Santa Fe High School victims: Exchange student, substitute teacher among those killed

Published: Friday, May 18, 2018 @ 10:26 PM
Updated: Sunday, May 20, 2018 @ 9:11 AM

Multiple Fatalities Reported, Suspect in Custody After Texas High School Shooting

An exchange student and a substitute teacher are among the victims of a mass shooting Friday at Santa Fe High School in Galveston County, Texas, where 10 people were killed and 10 injured when a gunman opened fire at the school.

>> Read more trending news 

Shana Fisher

Shana Fisher doted on her dog Kallie and was a beautiful, smart, funny and talented girl, her mother, Sadie Rodriguez, told the Houston Chronicle. She turned 16 the same month she was killed.

Rodriguez told The Los Angeles Times that her 16-year-old daughter "had 4 months of problems from this boy (the gunman).”

"He kept making advances on her and she repeatedly told him no," the Times reported, citing a private message from Rodriguez.

Rodriguez told The Associated Press that the week before the shooting, Fisher "stood up to him" by "embarrass(ing) him in class." Rodriguez gave no other details, the AP reported.

On Facebook, Rodriguez said she created a fundraiser in her daughter’s memory.

“i want to help teachers and parents (be) more aware of teens and their mental state,” she wrote. “My daughter was the most sweet and shy young lady. She never hurt anyone.

“This boy. i cant even do this. i cant even finish this. it isnt even fair. i have to stay strong for Kaylenn, her younger sister. My heart is being ripped out. My baby is gone. i cant even go into her room.”

Sabika Sheikh

Pakistani exchange student Sabika Sheikh, 18, was among the nine students killed in the massacre, according to news reports. 

Sheikh came to the United States as part of the YES program, which was established by Congress after 9/11 and is funded by the State Department.

>> Related: Santa Fe High School shooting: 10 dead, 10 injured, suspect charged with capital murder 

The program provides scholarships for high school students from majority Muslim countries to spend an academic year in the U.S. They go to school, live with host families, learn about American values and help educate Americans about their countries and cultures.

The Pakistani Embassy in Washington confirmed Sheikh’s death to CBS News. 

Sheikh was scheduled to return home next month.

 

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued an official statement Saturday on the death of Sheikh.

Ann Perkins

Substitute teacher Ann Perkins, 64, happened to be teaching Friday when gunfire erupted at the school. She is the only teacher killed in the massacre.

She’s described as a “beloved teacher,” who loved spending time with her children and grandchildren.

>> Related: Parkland students, families offer condolences to victims of Santa Fe school massacre

 

>> Related: Texas shooting: Who is Dimitrios Pagourtzis, suspect in the Santa Fe High School attack

Chris Stone

A junior at Santa Fe High School, Chris Stone was one of the victims of Friday’s shooting rampage, according to ABC 13.

He was a student in an art class at the school, which was the first target the gunman attacked.

Stone was among several students who blocked the door to try to prevent the gunman from entering their art classroom, freshman Abel San Miguel, who was in the class, told The Associated Press. 

 

Cynthia Tisdale

Cynthia Tisdale was a teacher’s aide at Santa Fe High School, her family told CNN. 

Her niece, Leia Olinde, said the family was notified of her death Friday night.

Her brother-in-law, John Tisdale, posted on Facebook that Cythnia Tisdale was a member of the Anchor Bible Baptist Church in Pharr, Texas.

“We are all heart-broken,” John Tisdale wrote.

Kimberly Vaughan

KImberly Vaughan was in art class when shots rang out Friday morning. Her mother, Rhonda Hart, announced on Facebook that her daughter was one of the children who did not make it.

"She is in heaven," Hart said. "I am heartbroken."

Later on Facebook Hart urged people to “Call your damn senators. Call your congressmen.

“We need gun control. We need to protect our kids,” she wrote.

Jared Black

Jared Black, 17, really liked comic books, his uncle, John Conrad, told KHOU. Conrad said his nephew loved to draw his own artwork.

Black’s birthday party had been scheduled for Saturday, family members said.

Black loved playing Minecraft on Xbox and Pokémon Go on his cellphone, they told the Chicago Tribune.

Aaron Kyle McLeod 

Aaron Kyle McLeod, 15, a freshman who went by Kyle, could always be counted on to make light of any situation, close friend Kali Reeves told the Chicago Tribune.

"He was never one to be a sad or down person, he always had to joke or laugh about things," Reeves told the Tribune. "He was just outgoing and super sweet. He definitely didn't deserve this."

Christian Riley Garcia

Family members told KHOU that 15-year-old Christian Riley Garcia, who hoped to enlist in the military after high school, “died a true hero.”

"From what we've gathered thus far he got in front of other students and barricaded the door," his aunt, Sarah Saunders told KHOU. "He laid down his life so others could have a chance."

Saunders said Christian hoped to enlist in the military when he became of age. He felt it was his calling to serve others.

"He had the biggest heart and the biggest chunk of ours feels to have left with him,"d Saunders said.

On Facebook, Crosby Church, which Garcia attended, announced it would have a memorial service Monday to remember Garcia and the others killed in the shooting.

“Our hearts are broken to see such deep loss of so many precious individuals,” the church wrote. “We will especially be lifting up (Garcia’s) family -- mother Shannon, father D J little sister Candace who are a part of our body, our family, our church.

Angelique Ramirez

Family members confirmed to KHOU that Angelique Ramirez was among the victims in the shooting.

Sylvia Pritchett, who identified herself as Ramirez's aunt posted on Facebook that "with a broken heart and a soul that just can't process all this right now, I have to announce my niece was one of the fatalities."

Ramirez’s family told KHOU that the student “was creative beyond belief.”

Check back for updates on this developing story.

This photo provided by the Galveston County Sheriff's Office shows Dimitrios Pagourtzis, who law enforcement officials took into custody Friday, May 18, 2018, and identified as the suspect in the deadly school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas, near Houston. (Galveston COunty Sheriff’s Office/AP)

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Santa Fe High School shooting: 10 dead, 13 injured, suspect arraigned on capital murder charges

Published: Friday, May 18, 2018 @ 10:48 PM
Updated: Sunday, May 20, 2018 @ 8:12 AM

Multiple Fatalities Reported, Suspect in Custody After Texas High School Shooting

The suspect in the Santa Fe High School shooting in Galveston County Texas was arraigned on capital murder and aggravated assault charges Friday in the deaths of 10 people and the wounding of a police officer. 

Thirteen people were also injured in the massacre Friday morning at the high school in southeastern Texas, the FBI said Saturday.

>> Read more trending news 

The gunman was identified as Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, a student at the school. When he finally surrendered, nine students and one teacher had been killed.

Pagourtzis used two weapons in the attack on the school, according to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a shot gun and a .38-revolver, which belonged to his father. 

The governor also confirmed a Molotov cocktail and “various other types of explosive devices” were found at the school and two other locations.

>>Read: Texas shooting: Who is Dimitrios Pagourtzis, suspect in the Santa Fe High School attack

 

 

Authorities were interviewing two other people in connection with the shooting, but it’s unclear what part, if any, they played in the massacre.

>>Read: What are the worst school shootings in modern US history?

Update May 20, 8:13 a.m. EST: The Galveston County Criminal District Attorney released the complete list of the people killed in the shooting, the Houston Chronicle reported. The teachers were identified as Glenda Perkins and Cynthia Tisdale, 64. The students included Shana Fisher, 16; Angelique Ramirez, 15; Christopher Jake Stone, 17; Jared Black, 17; Christian Riley Garcia, 15; Sabika Sheikh; Aaron Kyle McLeod, 15; and Kimberly Vaughan.

Update May 19, 2:47 p.m. EST: Santa Fe High School students are being allowed to return to campus to pick up their cars and belongings left behind after Friday’s deadly shooting. 

According to a post on the Santa Fe ISD Facebook page, students with cars are meeting officials at the junior high cafeteria between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. CST.

The school district states that students will not be allowed to go directly to the high school.

Update May 19, 2:14 p.m. EST: A teen who was shot in the leg during Friday’s shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas is in good condition, according to a Twitter update from the University of Texas Medical Branch. 

A woman in the intensive care unit (ICU) is in serious condition.

John Barnes, the student resource officer and former police officer, remains in critical condition.

 

 Officials gathered Saturday afternoon at Santa Fe High School in an adjacent grassy lot.

According to KHOU, the Santa Fe Independent School District superintendent and Santa Fe mayor called for unity and peace.

 

Galveston County Judge Mark Henry said there were no new updates to the investigation, KHOU reports. 

 

Update May 19, 11:40 a.m. ET: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued an official statement on the death of Sibika Sheikh, the Pakistani exchange student who was one of the victims of the Santa Fe High School shooting.

 

Update 10:30 p.m. ET: Three of the victims in the shooting massacre have now been identified, according to news reports. A substitute teacher, Ann Perkins, an exchange student, Sibika Sheikh and high school junior Chris Stone are among the victims killed in the rampage.

     

The FBI and ATF are still processing the scene in Santa Fe, using SWAT teams, bomb techs and K-9 teams to search for explosives investigators say the suspect planted around the school.

 

Update 7:20 p.m. ET: Santa Fe High School shooting suspect Dimitrios Pagourtzis made his first court appearance in court and was denied bond on capital murder and aggravated assault.

 

Update 6:15 p.m. ET: Police are searching homes and cars for more explosives related to the attack on the school, CNN reported.

Pagourtzis, who wanted to kill himself, but surrendered instead, according to authorities, allegedly built explosives and planned to use them in the attack.

Federal authorities in Texas, including the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, are teaming up and scouring the crime scene at the school and surrounding locations, according to the FBI in Houston.

“The FBI Houston and ATF Houston are combining resources to meticulously process the scene,” the FBI said in a tweet.

 

Update 5:15 p.m. ET: The suspect in the Santa Fe High School shooting, Dimitrios Pagourtzis, has been charged with capital murder in the deaths of 10 people at the school Friday morning and aggravated assault of a peace officer for the shooting injury of school resource officer John Barnes, the Santa Fe Independent School District has confirmed. Pagourtzis is jailed without bond in the Galveston County Jail.

Schools superintendent Leigh Wall called the rampage “a terrible tragedy.

“Words cannot express the sorrow in our hearts for those we have lost,” Wall said in a statement posted on the district’s website.

“Our campus remains an active crime scene with law enforcement personnel from throughout our region supporting Santa Fe ISD Police Chief, Walter Braun.”

Wall also pledged to keep the community informed on developments in the investigation.

 

Update 4:10 p.m. ET: The school resource officer, John Barnes,  who was wounded in the shooting rampage at Santa Fe High School is in the operating room and is in critical condition, University of Texas Medical Branch officials said at an afternoon press conference.

Barnes was injured in the arm, according to Dr. David Marshall, shot in the elbow.

There are two other patients at the hospital, a middle aged woman and a young male, but both are still unidentified.

The female patient suffered a fractured leg bone and is now out of surgery.

The male suffered a gun shot to the leg and is listed in stable condition, Marshall said.

Seven other victims were transported to several other medical centers near Santa Fe.

 

Update 3:15 p.m. ET: Governor Greg Abbott said during a press conference that Pagourtzis used two weapons, both of which were legally owned by his father, a shot gun and a .38-revolver. There are two persons of interest, one who is currently being interviewed by law enforcement and a second who will be. 

Abbott says he plans to take action because people need to “do more than just pray for the victims and families. It’s time in Texas that we begin to take action to make sure this tragedy is not repeated ever again.” Abbott vowed to begin roundtable discussions next week to work on solutions to prevent shootings in the future. He plans to speak with anyone with a vested interest in stopping gun violence --  parents, students, those who want to support second amendment rights, safety personnel. He wants to address mental health to help prevent gun violence. He also said that the state needs to make sure schools have resources and can identify those who could pose a risk of violence.

According to Abbott, Pagourtzis had journals on his computer that outlined the attack and that he planned on committing suicide after the shooting.

Abbott also spoke to parents across the country telling them to “hold your children close tonight and let them know how much you love them.”

UTMB confirms that John Barnes is the man who is in critical condition. He is a recently retired detective who started working for the Santa Fe ISD police. 

 

 

Update 2:33 p.m. ET: Police are talking to Pagourtzis. CNN is reporting he was injured in today’s shooting but did not say what injuries he suffered.

 

Update 2:17 p.m. ET: A second person is now in custody in connection with Friday’s deadly shooting. Earlier police said that a second person had been detained.

 

Update 1:44 p.m. ET: Clear Lake Regional Medical Center officials said that eight patients were taken to their hospital and of the eight, six have been discharged. Of the remaining, one patient is listed in critical condition. The other is listed in fair condition, KHOU reported.

 

KHOU is also reporting that the adult male being treated at UTMB was retired police officer John Barnes. 

Update 12:35 p.m. ET: Santa Fe Independent School District police administration chief  Walter Braun said that the campus has been cleared of all students and staff.  Braun said that at least six people, including a SFISD police officer, were transported to area hospitals with injuries. 

Doctors clarified that the adult male who has in the operating room did not have a chest wound, but had an upper arm injury, near the chest. The middle age female has been transferred to the operating room for surgery on her leg wound. The teen, who is a 16-year-old male, is in the pediatric ward with a wound to the leg.

 

Update 12:18 p.m. ET: The Santa Fe school district has confirmed via a Twitter post that police have found possible explosive devices at the school and off campus.

 

President Trump spoke earlier about this latest shooting.

President Trump Speaks About Santa Fe High School Shooting

Update 12:04 p.m. ET: Doctors at UTMB said that the adult male who is undergoing surgery is a middle aged man who has chest injuries. He has been listed in critical condition. Doctors said they are unsure how many times he was shot. The male teen who was admitted to the hospital was shot and has a leg wound and is listed in good condition. The other patient, who was being treated in the emergency room, has a gunshot wound to the leg also and is listed in good condition.

Update 11:47 a.m. ET: In a news conference with Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzales there are between eight and 10 fatalities, but media sources are reporting 9 deaths. The majority of those killed are students according to the sheriff but there were some adult staff fatalities. 

Law enforcement is doing a systematic search of the building to make sure that there are no additional injured students or students still in hiding. Police are also looking for any potential devices that were left behind. 

Gonzales said it is an active crime scene and a family reunification area that has been set up to get families and their children reunited.

As for the shooter, Gonzales did not have an age or identification but said that the shooter was a male student at the school. Another student, again no name or age was available, was detained.

Update 11:14 a.m. ET: The University of Texas Medical Branch officials held a news conference. During it they announced that three patients have been taken to UTMB -- two adults and one person under the age of 18. Officials with the hospital said that an adult male was taken to surgery. One adult was still being treated in the emergency room and person under the age of 18 has been admitted to the hospital.

 

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez says that one person is in custody, another is detained. A police officer was hurt and is being treated.

 

Update: 11:06 a.m. ET: There are now reports of a possible explosive being found near an area roadway and the potential that the gunman was not alone, KHOU reported

 

President Donald Trump has reacted via Twitter about this latest deadly school shooting.

 

Update: 10:40 a.m. ET: Two sources familiar with the situation have told KHOU that there are multiple student fatalities and that an officer was wounded. KHOU reported that once source was a federal official, the other was a county official, both close to the situation. Federal officials told KHOU that the suspected gunman was a student.

 

The district has a dedicated police force, including resource officers, crossing guards and a dispatcher, according to the district website

Update: 10:20 a.m. ET: The school has confirmed that there are injuries, but there is no information on the extent of those injuries. 

 

Update: 10:01 a.m. ET: Dr. Cris Richardson, the assistant principal of Santa Fe High School, quickly briefed the media outside the school. She told reporters that the active shooter has been arrested and secured. She did not disclose the suspect’s name. School officials are starting to reunite students with their parents.

The school district had only two weeks left in the school year. Richardson confirmed that the school has trained for the situation.

Richardson had no details on any injuries.

Update: 9:54 a.m. ET: University of Texas Medical Branch has told local news outlets that patients are on the way to the hospital. They have no number of patients or their injuries. A news brief from the hospital is expected in a few hours.

 

The Galveston County Sheriff’s Office told KPRC that one person is in custody.

>>Read: Santa Fe High School Shooting: What to know about Santa Fe Independent School District

Update: 9:37 a.m. ET: Witnesses told KTRK that it happened in an art class at the school. Santa Fe Police, Galveston County Sheriff’s Office and ATF agents are responding, KTRK reported.

 

Neighboring schools are also in what is called “protect mode” because of the shooting at Santa Fe High School.

 

>>Read: Over 170 Texas school districts allow staff to be armed

Update 9:23 a.m. ET: KHOU is reporting that some students were evacuated to a business down the street from the school complex. There are unconfirmed reports that police exchanged fire with the shooter and that there may be injuries, KHOU reported

 

The school has also posted a warning to its website that reads: 

Important Message

SFISD District Response to SFHS Active Shooter

This morning an incident occurred at the high school involving an active shooter. The district has initiated a lockdown at the high school. We will send out additional information as soon as it is available.

The school also posted the message to its Facebook page. 

The school usually starts its day at 7:10 a.m., according to the school website and dismisses at 2:35 p.m. On late-arrival days school starts at 9:15 a.m.

>>Read: Texas school marshals allowed to carry guns on campus

Original story: Details are still coming in, but it has been confirmed that police are on scene for an active shooter situation, KPRC reported.

>> Read more trending news 

 

There have not been any official reports of injuries, KPRC reported.

However, a medical helicopter has been sent to the scene, KHOU reported

The school district has confirmed that there was an active shooter situation at the high school.

 

A student at the school told KTRK that fire alarms went off around 7:45 a.m. local time and students left their classrooms. The student told the station that others thought they heard shots fired. She and other students, along with teachers, have found shelter near campus, KTRK reported.

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