PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas - The sun may have been shining at Prairie View A&M Saturday afternoon, but a cloud now hangs over the campus after the violent deaths of two students this week.
The latest happened early Saturday morning following a house party just blocks from Panther Stadium.
"What escalated it, we don't know yet, but at least 15 to 20 shots were fired," said Waller County Sheriff Glenn Smith.
Those bullets hit three people, killing a Prairie View student, whose name investigators have not yet released.
"Man, I'm going to miss him. For real," said Miles Valerie, a junior at Prairie View.
He added that he's known the victim since they were freshmen and even talked to his friend on Friday night, just hours before his death.
"I was about to go to the party," Valerie said. "He and I had a conversation. We were both looking for the party and I was like, 'I'm gonna just go home.' He said, 'Be safe.' I was like, 'You too.'"
Valerie said he didn't know about the shooting until other friends started calling him Saturday morning.
"I really think it's like a bad dream. I'm trying to wake up," he said. "That's all I really want to do."
According to Valerie, he and the victim were set to graduate next year along with Tristan Houston, the Prairie View student found dead in the Hockley area on Friday.
Deputies have charged another student, Prairie View senior Ayinde Williams, in that case.
"It's devastating," Smith said. "That's not what this county is about."
The sheriff said he counts four homicides in Waller County in just a week: the young man Saturday morning, Tristan Houston and the two cyclists who investigators say were intentionally hit by a driver.
In 38 years working in law enforcement, Smith said he's never seen anything like it.
"It's sickening to all of us," he said. "You get into this profession to protect and serve, to help people. You see this kind of thing… their life is just starting."
Investigators are still looking for the gunman who fired the shots at the house party overnight.
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