Suspect identified in Lone Star College campus shooting

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by Michelle Homer / KHOU.com

khou.com

Posted on January 22, 2013 at 7:52 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 1 at 10:27 AM

EDITOR'S NOTE: On January 28, Charges were dropped against Carlton Berry, the man who was first accused in the shooting on the campus of Lone Star College.  

 

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas -- Officials have identified the suspected gunman in Tuesday’s shooting on the Lone Star College campus in north Harris County.

He is 22-year-old Carlton Berry. He's in jail after being treated at Northwest Medical Center for a gunshot wound to the buttocks.

The shooting happened during an argument between Berry and a Lone Star College student.

Both men ended up with gunshot wounds, and Berry shot a maintenance man who was an innocent bystander, according to the Harris County Sheriff's Office.


  Click here to for aerial photos of the scene


"He [Berry] said, 'I don't want to fight you, I'm not trying to go to jail," said Eyyonna Fontenot, a student who witnessed the argument and shooting.

Fontenot said Berry initially walked away, but then changed his mind when the other student said something else.

"Whatever ticked him off, whatever they said, [the gunman] got it out of his backpack and just started shooting," she said. "I just ran out of there cause I didn't want to die, I have two kids."

Dozens of law enforcement officers rushed to the campus while panicked students ran away when the gunshots rang out. 

The shooting led to a campus lockdown and two-hour search for the gunman, who got away. Several nearby Aldine ISD schools were also put on lockdown as a precaution.

A law enforcement source said Berry shot the man he was arguing with, then accidentally shot himself in the buttocks when he tried to put his gun in his pants.

Lone Star College student Brittany Mobley said she saw the whole thing happen.

"I saw two dudes basically get into an altercation and the dude that shot, he basically got angry and started shooting the other guy," said Mobley. "A lot of people heard a lot of shots."

Mobley said the suspect had the gun hidden in his clothes.

"Basically, I seen the dude that shot him and as soon as I heard the bullets flying and the gun being fired off, then everyone started running and it was a hint for me to start running as well," Mobley said.

The shooting happened in the central courtyard of the campus in the 2700 block of W.W. Thorne Drive in north Harris County.

While many ran from the scene, other students and faculty took cover inside classrooms.

"They said there was gunshots and somebody was shot so we cut off the lights, we cut off all the computers and we just kinda like got down and was quiet," said a woman named Mary.

Mark Zaragosa, an EMT student, got some hands-on experience when he spotted two wounded men before police arrived.

"I actually had just come out of EMT class and I noticed that there were two downed victims so I stopped to render assistance," Zaragosa said.

Berry has been charged with aggravated assault.

The student he's accused of shooting has three bullet wounds and is reportedly in critical condition at Ben Taub Hospital. 

The maintenance man was shot in the leg and is expected to be OK. He was also taken to Ben Taub.

Another student on the campus was taken to the hospital after suffering a medical emergency.

Some parents rushed to the scene to make sure their children were OK.

"I really, like, panicked," said one young man as his relieved mother kissed him repeatedly.

"I love you," said another tearful mom as she hugged her daughter.

"I love you too, mom," the girl answered.

After a two-hour search of the campus, it was cleared and the lockdown was lifted.

Around 2:15 p.m., Berry turned himself in at Northwest Medical Center with a gunshot wound, according to law enforcement sources. He was still wearing bloodstained white pants.

Lone Star College closed for the rest of day, but students and faculty were allowed to return to pick up their cars and other belongings.

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