The deceased suspect in a rural high school shooting in Texas this morning did not fit the common profile we’ve come to expect of a young male loner.
A 14-year-old female student died of what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound at Alpine High School in Alpine, TX, according to Brewster County Sheriff Ronnie Dodson.
The shooter – a female student at the school – turned the gun on herself after shooting another student in the lower extremities, Dodson told radio station KVLF. It is not confirmed if the injured student is male or female, but is at Big Bend Regional Medical Center. No names have been released at this time.
The marketing director at the hospital confirmed that two people were taken to the medical center as a result of the shooting and that one patient was treated and transferred and one was treated and released.
A federal officer was injured when another officer’s gun discharged and has been taken to the hospital.
Sheriff Ronny Dodson with the Brewster County Sheriff’s Office said they recovered a semi-automatic pistol next to the female student shooter’s body. He also said they found plenty of ammunition but didn’t say how much.
Alpine police took the call about 9:25 a.m. CT, and the sheriff’s department was first on the scene. Dodson said that the initial investigation indicates about five shots were fired in the school.
Dodson also said the female student shooter had only lived in Alpine for the last six months. He said he knows their grandparents. Talking to them, the grandparents said she was a straight A student and there were no indications of any problems.
Sheriff Dodson confirmed that the suspect shot a fellow female student, and the wounded victim then ran from the bathroom. The shooter then took her own life.
A Brewster County Sheriff’s deputy on routine patrol happened to be just outside the school when the incident occurred, entered the building nearest where the shooting took place, and discovered the deceased suspect and secured her firearm within minutes of the original 911 calls.
At some point after the exact scene of the shooting had been secured by the deputy but before it was confirmed that there was only one suspect, other law enforcement officers from other agencies flooded the building in order to ensure the safety of the faculty, staff, and students.
At some point during the clearing of the rest of the school, a Homeland Security officer was “accidentally” shot in the leg by a U.S. Marshal.
Sheriff Dodson has not said whether this second shooting incident during the clearing of the school was a negligent discharge by a Marshal who failed to keep his finger off the trigger (a “rule 3” safety violation), or if this was an intentional discharge by the Marshal who perceived the Homeland Security officer as a threat (a “rule 4” safety violation).
Complicating this two-part incident for Brewster County law enforcement was a pair of bomb threats called in after the shooting to a local hospital and Sul Ross State University by a male caller apparently hoping to sow chaos after the shooting incidents at the school, as well a written threat left at a hotel in another part of the county.