BREAKING 'Multiple students killed' as gunman 'storms Texas high school classroom and begins firing "everywhere"'
At least eight students were killed when a teen gunman stormed a high school in Texas and began firing "everywhere", according to reports.
Students told local media that the shooter walked into an art classroom, shot at least three pupils and then continued firing as people fled in terror.
A police officer was also wounded in the chaos, as students told how gunfire erupted and the fire alarm was activated.
One student told local media that the gunman was armed with a sawn off shotgun and a pistol, and he "always walked around in a trench coat".
The suspected shooter was in police custody.
Santa Fe High School was placed locked down with students taking shelter in classrooms as p olice hunted the shooter inside the building.
Others managed to flee to safety after a fire alarm went off and the sound of gunfire sparked panic.
A white sheet appeared to be covering a body near one of the school's exits, ABC 13 reported.
At least eight students were killed and a police officer was wounded, KHOU reported.Video Loading Click to play Tap to play The video will start in 8Cancel Play now
Students told reporters on scene that a fellow pupil armed with a shotgun walked into an art class and shot a girl, who had blood on her leg afterwards.
The assailant then started "shooting everywhere" as students ran for their liv es, a pupil told ABC 13.
The student said pupils fled through a door at the back of the classroom, adding: "We thought it was a fire drill at first, but ... the teacher said 'start running'."
There were unconfirmed claims that "pipe bombs" were thrown into the art classroom.
Sophomore Zach Muehe told Fox 26 that the gunman, a student from his American football class, had a sawn off shotgun and a pistol.
He said the teen entered his class and began shooting.
Zach said he ran to another classroom to alert a teacher, who pulled the fire alarm to evacuate the school.
Zach said of the suspect: "He always walked around in a trench coat."
At least three air ambulances were called to the scene, along with a mass casualty ambulance and dozens of other emergency vehicles.
The shooting began around 7.45am local time at the high school in Santa Fe, about 30 miles south of Houston.
Sophomore Leila Butler told ABC 13 that the fire alarm sounded and students heard gunshots as they left their classrooms.
She was sheltering with other students and teachers near the campus..
Some pupils took shelter in an auto shop nearby, while others ran into a woodland.
TV news footage showed about 20 pupils with their hands clasped behind their heads as they were searched by armed police in a playing field. The contents of their backpacks were dumped out onto the ground.
Others were seen emerging with their arms raised in the air as police kept a close watch.
Frightened students sent text messages to their parents or other loved ones to aler t them to the situation and let them know that they were OK.
One woman posted screen grabs of a messages she claimed were sent by her nephew.
She wrote: "Please pray for my nephew and his school. I knew in my heart that when I got his 'I love you DiDi' text during his school time this morning that something was wrong."
She later tweeted that her nephew was out of the school and was being taken to a safe location.
Worried parents rushed to the scene to wait for updates as the chaos unfolded.
Students had prepared for an active shooter situation in the past.
The Santa Fe Independent School District said in a statement: "This morning an incident occurred at the high school involving an active shooter.
&quo t;The situation is active, but has been contained. There have been confirmed injuries.
"Details will be released as we receive updated information. Law enforcement will continue to secure the building and initiate all emergency management protocols to release and move students to another location.
"All other campuses are operating under their regular schedules."
It said students were being taken to a gym near the school where they would reunite with their parents or guardians.
Other schools in the area were put on lockdown as a precaution.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) confirmed it was responding to the incident along with local police.
There have been 100 mass shootings in the US so far this year, according to the website Gun Violence Archive.
In February, 17 students and staff were kill ed when a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
In that incident, victims were gunned down after the shooter activated the school's fire alarm.Source: Google News