Houston-Area College Locked Down After Shooting

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Jan. 22 2013 4:20 PM

Slatest PM: Houston-Area College Locked Down After Shooting

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Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

Shooting Sparks Lockdown at Houston-Area College: Associated Press: "A shooting on a Texas community college campus wounded three people Tuesday and sent students fleeing for safety as officials placed the campus on lockdown, officials said. Harris County Sheriff's Maj. Armando Tello said authorities had detained a person of interest. Authorities also thought there could be a second shooter ... Aerial footage from local television stations showed police cars and ambulances parked on the Lone Star College System campus about 20 miles north of downtown Houston. Emergency personnel could be seen tending to people on stretchers, while others ran from a building led by officers."

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Two Gunmen; Motive Unknown: Houston Chronicle: "Officials said two gunmen appeared to have been involved in the shooting. One of them was taken into custody a short time later. The other man is on the run. Law enforcement officials were searching the area near the campus, using tracking dogs. The Houston police SWAT team is also on campus. Investigators are still trying to determine what sparked the gunfire."

Eyewitness Account: CNN: "An unidentified Lone Star College student who says she witnessed some of the shooting told CNN affiliate KHOU that an argument between two people preceded the gunfire. A gunman, she said, told someone: 'I don't want to fight you; I'm not trying to go to jail.' The witness appeared to reference only one gunman; it wasn't clear whether she saw a second gunman. She said he 'actually turned away from the situation' at first but eventually pulled a gun out of a backpack. She said she heard about nine shots. 'I think it was a bunch of crap that could've been resolved and never should have gone that far,' the witness said."

Latest Official Word From Local Police: "The school is under control but still under evacuation."

Lone Star Gun Laws: Huffington Post: "[I]t's worth noting the role that state laws play in instances like this. In particular, the movement to expand concealed-carry laws seems likely to be the subject of some scrutiny, especially if the initial reports turn out to be true, and the Lone Star College shooting was the result of an argument that got too heated. Texas already has lax gun laws. But there are lawmakers in the state who have tried to loosen them even further. As a reader pointed out, just last week, a state senator introduced a bill that would let public college students, faculty and staff carry concealed firearms on campus for protective purposes provided that they had a proper license."

Happy Tuesday and welcome back to The Slatest PM, where we think/hope Friday's technological hiccups are behind us. Follow your afternoon host on Twitter at @JoshVoorhees and the whole team at @slatest.

News Flash From Israel: New York Times: "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu performed far worse than expected in Israel’s national elections on Tuesday, according to exit polls, and while he remained likely to serve a third term, a surprise surge by a new centrist party indicated he would be under pressure to form a more moderate governing coalition. As polls closed at 10 p.m., Israeli news channels reported that Mr. Netanyahu’s rightist Likud-Beiteinu list would win 30 or 31 of Parliament’s 120 seats, and the new party, There is a Future, would take 18, followed by left-leaning Labor, with 17. More important, the polls showed a significant tightening between the bloc of right-wing and religious parties, with a razor-thin majority of 61, and 59 for the center-left factions."

Ignoring the Debt Limit ... For Now: Washington Post: "Forget about raising the federal debt limit. House Republicans are proposing to ignore it altogether — at least until May 18. The House plans to vote Wednesday on a measure that would leave the $16.4 trillion borrowing limit intact but suspend it from the time the bill passes until mid-May. The declaration that the debt ceiling 'shall not apply' means that the government could continue borrowing to cover its obligations to creditors until May 18. This approach — novel in modern times — would let Republicans avoid a potentially disastrous fight over the debt limit without actually voting to let the Treasury borrow more money."

Replacing Ken Salazar: Washington Post: "Add another name to the possible candidates for Interior secretary, a post that will be vacant when Ken Salazar departs the agency in March: Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) We hear Salazar suggested Udall as a potential replacement, and that his name has been sent to the White House for consideration. Of course, he wouldn’t be the first Interior Secretary named Udall. The senator’s father, Stewart Udall, was a legendary environmental champion who served as Interior Secretary under Presidents John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson."

Instant Analysis: Weigel: "Salazar jumped to the Obama administration from the Senate, and Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter got to pick his replacement—Michael Bennet. The new senator endured a strong primary and a narrow general election, so I guess, if that's your sole basis for the decision, it all worked out. But if Udall jumped, Republican Gov. Susana Martinez would pick his replacement. That would kick the Democrats down to 54 Senate seats, which boost overall GOP optimism for winning the upper House in 2014. (They've got the candidates they want in West Virginia and South Dakota already.) The effect, for liberals, would be comparable to the effect of promoting Gov. Janet Napolitano to the cabinet in 2009—a decision that gave Arizona the glory of Gov. Jan Brewer."

More Popular Than Ever: Wall Street Journal: "Seven in 10 Americans believe Roe v. Wade should stand, according to new data from a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll .... That is the highest level of support for the decision, which established a woman's right to an abortion, since polls began tracking it in 1989. The shift is mostly the result of more Democrats backing the decision—particularly Hispanics and African-Americans—and a slight uptick in support from Republicans. But the poll showed a consistent tension in Americans' attitudes toward the decision. Almost seven in 10 respondents say there are at least some circumstances in which they don't support abortion."

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