The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

January 23, 2013

Students cower as shots ring out at Texas college

(Continued)

"To stay where I was wasn't an option," said Cohn, who fled from a building that houses computers and study areas. All the students were eventually evacuated, running out of buildings as police officers led them to safety.

Mark Zaragosa said he had just left an EMT class when he saw two people who were injured, so he stopped to help them. He described the wounds as minor: One with a gunshot to the knee and another to the buttocks.

"We were carrying (one man) over to an open area and they (the officers) told us to put him down — with all weapons drawn — and they cuffed him right there," Zaragosa told KHOU-TV.

The shooting last month at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., heightened security concerns at campuses across the country. In Texas, several school districts have either implemented or are considering a plan to allow faculty to carry guns on campus. While guns are not allowed on college campuses, the Texas Legislature this year might debate a bill that would allow them.

Richard Carpenter, chancellor of the Lone Star College System, said the campus is a gun-free zone that "has been safe for 40 years."

"We think it's still safe," he added.

The campus reopened late Tuesday afternoon, with classes expected to resume Wednesday.

Daniel Flores, 19, was in a second-floor tutoring lab with about 60 people when he heard a noise that sounded "like someone was kicking a door."

Once he and others realized that sound was gunfire, they fled to the nearby student services center, where authorities kept them for about 30 minutes before letting them leave.

Cody Harris, 20, said he was in a classroom with six or seven other students waiting for a psychology class to start when he heard eight shots. He and other students looked at each other, said, "I guess we should get out of here," and fled.

"I was just worried about getting out," Harris said. "I called my grandmother and asked her to pick me up."

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