An 18-year-old suspect was taken into custody on Wednesday afternoon after four people were injured in a shooting at Timberview High School in Arlington, Texas, two of whom sustained gunshot wounds.
Three of the victims have been hospitalized. Authorities said they believe three victims are students, and one person, who is older, is likely a teacher.
The suspect, Timothy George Simpkins, was at large for several hours after the shooting, but Arlington police later announced that they took him into custody without incident. He was charged with several counts of aggravated assault with a gun.
Simpkins is a student at the school who used a weapon during an argument with someone else, Arlington Assistant Police Chief Kevin Kolbye told reporters at a press conference.
"This is not a random act of violence," Kolbye said. "This is not somebody attacking our schools. This is a student — we believe, right now, a student — who got into a fight and drew a weapon."
Authorities said they received several 911 calls about the shooting, and one caller had identified Simpkins as the suspect.
Students were evacuated by the busload to a nearby building to be reunited with their families.
"We're just hoping for the best. We're hoping that there's no casualties and that all of our babies can come out of that school OK," a parent of a Timberview student said in an interview with the Recount.
Officials could not confirm at the press conference if Timberview High School had metal detectors at its entrances, and the Mansfield Independent School District did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Texas has one of the country's loosest gun laws, and just last month it began allowing people to carry handguns without a license.
In a statement about the shooting, Gov. Greg Abbott, a longtime anti–gun control figure who has said he wants Texas to be a "Second Amendment sanctuary," invited Texans to pray for the victims.
"As law enforcement continues their investigation, our hearts go out to the victims of this senseless act of violence," Abbott said. "I have spoken with the Mayor of Arlington and offered any assistance the state can provide, and I have directed the Texas Department of Public Safety to make state resources available to help bring the criminal to justice."
The shooting is the latest in the country's deadly gun violence epidemic, one that the American Public Health Association has called a public health crisis. Gun violence is the leading cause of premature death in the US, responsible for more than 38,000 deaths annually. As of Oct. 6, at least 34,145 people have died from gun violence this year, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive.