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Lone Star College shooting called an 'adolescent confrontation'

January 23, 2013|By Matt Pearce
  • An injured person is transported by emergency personnel after a shooting at Lone Star College's Harris Campus in Houston.
An injured person is transported by emergency personnel after a shooting… (KPRC-TV )

So where's the gun?

Officials investigating the shooting that injured three at Lone Star College's North Harris campus in northern Houston said Wednesday they had not found the handgun and were still looking for a "possible second suspect."

Carlton Berry, 22, has been charged with two counts of aggravated assault in the Tuesday shooting that prompted a campus-wide lockdown and sent scores of students ducking under their desks when they heard the shots about noon.

Christina Garza, spokeswoman for the Harris County Sheriff’s Department, told the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday that it was not clear whether Berry shot himself in the buttocks/upper-leg area or whether he had been shot by someone else.

“We’re still trying to figure that out,” Garza said. Investigators believe an argument between two men outside campus buildings prompted the shooting.

Berry remained hospitalized and under armed guard Wednesday, officials said.

Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia said only one gun appeared to have been used, but his investigators had not ruled out a second suspect.

“If you know of that firearm, we need it," Garcia said.

Jody Neal, 25, believed to have been arguing with Berry before the shooting erupted, remained hospitalized recovering from gunshot wounds to the leg and abdomen and was not expected to be charged, Garcia said.

Bobby Cliburn, a 55-year-old campus maintenance worker who officials believe was accidentally shot, remained hospitalized with a gunshot wound in the leg. The Sheriff's Department said a woman was hospitalized after the shooting apparently touched off an anxiety attack.

Garcia said the first deputy arrived on the 18,000-student campus within four minutes of receiving the report of the shooting. He congratulated his troopers for a quick response--and expressed gratitude that the shooting did not resemble other school attacks.

“This situation that we confronted here, thank God, was nothing like Newtown, Conn.," Garcia said. "What we had here was idiocy, stupidity. We had individuals who did not care about putting other people in harm’s way. It was a ridiculous, adolescent confrontation that occurred. But if we can make an example out of anyone, we will.”

Garcia said of Berry, "I hope he gets what he deserves for putting others in harm’s way."

matt.pearce@latimes.com

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