Fight leads to gunfire on Texas college campus

Updated 23 January 2013
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Fight leads to gunfire on Texas college campus

HOUSTON: A fight between two people led to a shooting at a Texas community college on Tuesday and sent students fleeing for safety as officials placed the campus on lockdown, officials said. A maintenance man was caught in the crossfire and wounded.
One of the people involved in the fight had a student ID, and both people were wounded and hospitalized, Harris County Sheriff’s Maj. Armando Tello said. A fourth person also was taken to a hospital for a medical condition, he said.
The two people involved in the fight are considered people of interest, Tello said. Authorities said they weren’t looking for any other suspects, and they recovered one handgun at the scene.
The shooting that happened shortly after 12 p.m. sent students scurrying for safety on the Lone Star College System campus about 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of downtown Houston. Some barricaded themselves in the rooms they were in, while others fled to nearby buildings.
The shooting comes just over a month after a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at an elementary school in Connecticut, heightening security concerns at campuses across the country and fueling a national debate about gun control.
President Barack Obama has proposed a package of federal gun-control proposals that are expected to face stiff opposition from congressional Republicans, who control the House of Representatives.
Many opponents of stricter gun laws argue that further restrictions will impinge on the Second Amendment of the Constitution, which protects the right of citizens to bear arms. Gun control proponents counter that the Second Amendment allows for regulating gun ownership.
In Texas, several school districts have either implemented or are considering a plan to allow faculty to carry guns on campus. Guns are not allowed on college campuses, but the Texas Legislature this year may debate a bill that would allow them.
Mark Zaragosa said he had just come out of an emergency medical training class when he saw two people who were injured and stopped to help them. Officers had not yet arrived, he said.
“The two people that I took care of had just minor injuries,” Zaragosa told KHOU. “One gentleman had a gunshot to the knee and the (other) actually had an entry wound to the lower buttocks area.”
Richard Carpenter, chancellor of the Lone Star College System, said the shooting happened outside between an academic building and the library.
An employee called police and then herded the 30 to 40 people in the library into a small room and told them to crouch down, said Luis Resendiz, 22, who was studying on the second floor of the library.
Resendiz said the Connecticut elementary school shooting was the first thing he thought of when he heard gunfire and he wondered if a similar situation was happening on his campus.
“I didn’t think something like this could happen. You don’t think about it happening to you,” he said.
Carpenter described the maintenance man as “in good shape.” The man, said to be in his mid-50s, was listed in stable condition.
The Lone Star Campus System is a gun-free zone, Carpenter said. State officials said the school had a plan to handle a shooting or other emergency situation.
“It has been safe for 40 years,” Carpenter said. “We think it’s still safe.”
At least 10 police cars clustered on the campus’ west side as emergency personnel tended to the wounded and loaded them on stretchers. Students led by officers ran from the buildings where they had been hiding as police evacuated the campus.
Keisha Cohn, 27, who also is studying to be a paramedic, said she was inside a building about 50 feet (15 meters) away from where the shots were fired. She heard “no less than five” shots and started running.
She fled to the campus learning center, which houses computers and study areas. Eventually, a deputy showed up and escorted people out, she said.
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Associated Press writer Eileen Sullivan contributed to this report from Washington.


New Zealand PM stays in hospital with ‘hungry’ baby

Updated 27 min 46 sec ago
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New Zealand PM stays in hospital with ‘hungry’ baby

WELLINGTON: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is to spend a second night in hospital with her “very alert and hungry” newborn daughter, her office said Friday.
The realities of motherhood have seen plans for a public appearance by the 37-year-old with her baby canceled twice.
Ardern is only the second world leader to give birth while in office, following Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto whose daughter Bakhtawar was born in 1990.
She has yet to announce the name of the child, but a spokesman for her office said “everyone is doing well if not a bit tired” and Ardern spent a lot of time feeding the baby during the night.
“The nurses described the baby as ‘very alert and one hungry baby’,” the spokesman added.
The baby arrived Thursday afternoon, weighing 3.3 kilogrammes (7.3 pounds).
It is the first child for Ardern and her 40-year-old partner Clarke Gayford, a television fishing personality who will become a stay-at-home dad when she returns to work after six weeks of maternity leave.
Her deputy Winston Peters is now acting prime minister, although Ardern will continue to be consulted on significant issues.
The birth capped an eventful year for Ardern who became prime minister last October, three months after inheriting the leadership of the Labour Party when it was languishing in the polls.
Bakhtawar Bhutto-Zardari tweeted “congratulations” and shared a link to a news story on how the Pakistani leader showed it was possible to be a mother and a prime minister.