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Schools boost security after Texas party shootings

Published: Monday, Nov. 11, 2013 10:37 a.m. CDT
(Eric Kayne)
Blood is pooled Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013 down the street from where two people were killed and at least 20 others injured, late Saturday, when gunfire erupted at a house party in the Cypress area, authorities said. The shooting broke out about 11:15 p.m. in the 7300 block of Enchanted Creek Drive in Houston. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Eric Kayne)

HOUSTON (AP) — Security will be boosted and grief counselors provided by a suburban Houston school district following a shooting at a house party that left two teenagers dead, a school official said Monday.

Katy school district spokesman Steve Stanford said one of the teens killed late Saturday — 17-year-old Queric Richardson — was a student at Morton Ranch High School. The other teen has not been identified.

Stanford said some students at the school were among the more than 100 who attended the party in nearby Cypress. He said school district police will increase patrols so that officers are more visible this week.

"It's not because of any threat," Stanford said. "It's more to reassure students."

Harris County authorities said the day after the shooting that the teens who were killed were students in Cypress.

Another 20 people were injured in the burst of gunfire. Sheriff's officials said the violence apparently began when a pistol was fired into the air in a celebratory moment as partygoers danced at the home. In the confusion, someone else began firing into the crowd.

Panic ensued as partygoers, mostly 17- to 19-year-olds, rushed from the home and jumped from second-floor windows in the scramble to flee. A garage door was bent upward as some squeezed underneath in the rush to get away.

Authorities are seeking two gunmen, one believed to be 17 and other 22.

Saturday's party in Cypress, an unincorporated area about 25 miles northwest of Houston, was promoted openly on several social media sites.

Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia chastised the party organizers, who advertised the event on social media, saying "you have no control on who to expect at your door."

He said the organizers arranged to have people searched as they entered the home. "Anytime you have to factor in a bouncer and being searched at the door, you have already taken a turn for the worse," he said.

"It's a horrible combination of immaturity, access to a firearm, and the inability to control one's self," Garcia said.

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