Second suspect charged in shooting at Lone Star College
Updated On: Jan 24 2013 11:23:04 PM CST
A second man was charged as the gunman in a shooting at Lone Star College's North Harris campus.
Trey Foster, 22, has been charged with aggravated assault. He has not been arrested and his sister said she hasn't seen him since the shooting. He has a criminal history that includes charges of resisting arrest and possession of a prohibited weapon.
Harris County sheriff's deputies said the shooting happened during a dispute outside the library on the Lone Star College's North Harris campus, 2700 W. W. Thorne Drive near Aldine Westfield, at 12:19 p.m. Tuesday.
According to court records, Jody Neal, 25, bumped into Foster and they got into an argument. They parted ways, but 30 minutes later Foster, who was with Carlton Berry, 22, saw Neal again and they got into another argument, officials said. Berry told investigators that Foster then fired shots at Neal.
At least 10 shots were fired, according to Sheriff Adrian Garcia.
Neal suffered gunshot wounds to his abdomen and leg. According to court records, he identified Foster as the shooter.
Neal also has a criminal history. He was convicted of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle in 2004 and possession of a switchblade/knuckles and misdemeanor assault in 2010.
"What we had here was idiocy, stupidity," Garcia said. "We had individuals who did not care about putting other people in harm's way. It was a ridiculous, adolescent confrontation that occurred."
Garcia said that weapon has not been recovered and urged anyone who knows where it is to call investigators immediately.
A maintenance man, Bobby Cliburn, was nearby when the shooting occurred and was wounded in the leg. He was released from a hospital on Wednesday.
Berry was shot while, investigators said, he put a gun into his back pocket. He was charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He remained hospitalized and in the custody of Harris County sheriff's deputies on Thursday. His bond has been set at $60,000.
According to court documents, Neal said he misidentified Berry as the shooter shortly after the incident. However, Cliburn also said Berry was the man who shot him. Prosecutors said the charges against Berry will stand.
"I know that there still is only believed to be one weapon," Harris County Assistant District Attorney Allison Baimbridge said. "I don't know who was holding the weapon. (Investigators) are still trying to interview all of the witnesses."
Berry has a criminal past, including arrests in 2011 and 2012 for possession of marijuana. He was also arrested for a theft charge in 2009.
Dr. Richard Carpenter of Lone Star College said campus police heard the shots being fired and responded immediately. Harris County deputies were on the scene about four minutes later, Garcia said.
Garcia also asked anyone with cellphone video of the shooting to turn it over to deputies immediately. At least eight investigators have been dedicated to the case, Garcia said.
A fourth person, a woman, was transported to a hospital after she suffered an anxiety attack. She is expected to be OK.
Guns illegal on campus
There were more than 10,000 students on the campus at the time of the shooting, said Jed Young, a school spokesman. Lone Star College's North Harris campus sits on 200 acres and opened in 1973. It offers more than 80 programs of study.
It is illegal to carry a concealed gun on a college campus in Texas.
"The policy of the board is that it's a gun-free campus," Carpenter said. "That doesn't mean that we can observe every ... we've got 19,000 students on this campus. We don't search students that come on the campus."
According to college officials, administrators have been actively talking about how they should deal with a shooter on campus. On Tuesday morning, the college president sent faculty members a link to a video that demonstrates what to do in an active shooter situation.
College officials said an email to a link with a training video will be sent to students.
School reopened on Wednesday
Students, their parents and faculty returned to campus on Wednesday.
The Lone Star College Public Information Officer, Vicki Cassidy, said the school was on "high alert and will continue the same pattern" Wednesday. The PIO also said there would not be extra security on campus.
However, security on the college campus was much more visible early Wednesday. Officers were out patrolling the campus to help ease fears as students headed back to school.
"It makes you scared to go anywhere," student Danielle Roberson said. "You are at school to get an education and better our future and we still get to school and get nervous."
Lone Star College and the four nearby Aldine schools -- Dunn Elementary, Parker Intermediate, Nimitz 9th grade campus and Nimitz High -- were on lockdown Tuesday. The lockdown was lifted about 3 p.m.
"I'm just glad nothing happened at any of the other schools and the suspect didn't make it to other schools," said Kevin Williams, who has two children who attend Dunn Elementary. "As a parent, you think, 'Go get my child, go help my child,' but you have all the police, so what else can you do?"