Sheriff: Second suspect possible in college attack

HOUSTON – A second suspect may emerge in the aftermath of the shooting at a Houston-area community college that left three people injured, the Harris County sheriff said Wednesday.

At least 10 shots were fired Tuesday during a dispute between two men outside the library at the North Harris campus of Lone Star College, Sheriff Adrian Garcia said. Authorities were still looking for the handgun that was used.

Carlton Berry, 22, is charged with two felony counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Garcia offered no additional details on the role of a possible second suspect. He said investigators were trying to determine what caused the argument, adding that the dispute was "idiocy, stupidity."

"We had individuals who did not care about putting other people in harm's way," he said at an afternoon news conference. "It was a ridiculous, adolescent confrontation that occurred."

Berry was injured in the incident and is under police supervision at a Houston hospital, Garcia said. Investigators were still trying to determine how he was wounded.

Berry had a Lone Star College ID but it was not clear whether he was enrolled at the school, Garcia said. Court records did not list an attorney for Berry.

Garcia said the two other people wounded in the shooting were recovering. Jody Neal, 25, with whom Berry was arguing, was shot in the abdomen and leg. Neal was pursuing his GED. Charges were not expected to be filed against Neal, as officials said that Berry was the only one with a weapon.

A maintenance worker for the college, 55-year-old Bobby Cliburn, was standing nearby and was shot in the leg. Sheriff's officials corrected his age, which was reported earlier as 69.

A woman whose name has not been released also received medical treatment. It was initially believed she suffered a heart attack, but Garcia said she was treated for an anxiety attack.

Berry is scheduled for a court hearing Thursday, which could be delayed because of his medical condition, officials said. He faces a total bond of $60,000.

The volley of gunshots around noon Tuesday at the college, located in north Houston, prompted a lockdown then evacuation of the campus. Students were allowed to return to campus and retrieve their vehicles later Tuesday. Classes at the campus resumed Wednesday.

Steve Head, president of the college campus, said at the news conference that employees and students who returned to school Wednesday had questions and were a bit jittery, but he said overall it was a "good day."

"The students are concerned but we are trying to emphasize that this is an isolated incident," he said.

Head said the school was reviewing its procedures, including whether the campus alert system notified people as quickly as possible.

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Follow Juan A. Lozano on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/juanlozano70

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