A 17-year-old opened fire in a high school hallway Friday as fellow students were returning from a pep rally, wounding six, authorities said. One other student was injured when she was trampled in the panic.
Witnesses said the student, who was new to Palo Duro High School, pulled a gun after he and another student got into a fight.The teenager believed to be the shooter and a second student found with a gun were taken into custody, said police spokeswoman Helen Smith. Neither was identified.
Two of the wounded students were reported in serious condition and four in satisfactory condition, a spokesman for Northwest Hospital said. The trampled student was treated and released.
School officials said the students were returning to classes from the pep rally when the violence erupted Friday morning. School remained in session for the day but several hundred students went home early, said John Williams, of the Amarillo Independent School District.
Some students said the shooting was gang-related, but Williams dismissed that as speculation. Police declined to comment.
"It was a gang thing," said one Palo Duro junior who refused to give his name.
"Me and my boys was looking for him to fight. When we found him, my friend punched him in the face. He ducked down and came up with a gun and started firing."
Heather Fisher, a friend of wounded student Delmond Carruthers, said she watched Carruthers punch the gunman in the face, then saw the gunman hunch over, pull out a gun and fire a shot at Carruthers.