Students react to shooting on Lone Star College campus in Houston

Barak Bullock

Less than a week after state Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, filed a bill that would allow concealed carry license holders to carry handguns while on university campuses, violence broke out in Houston at Lone Star Community College’s North Harris campus Tuesday.

Officials identified Carlton Berry, 22, as the suspected shooter. Berry is currently in jail after being treated for a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the buttocks at Northwest Medical Center in Houston. Law enforcement officials have charged him with aggravated assault. 

Following an argument, Berry shot a Lone Star College student three times. The student is in critical condition. Another student, who was not shot, was taken to the hospital for an unspecified medical emergency. A maintenance worker for the college caught in the crossfire is reportedly in “good shape,” according to Richard Carpenter, chancellor of the Lone Star College System.

In a statement to The Daily Texan, Birdwell said the concealed carry bill known as the Campus Personal Protection Act will remain unchanged. 

“Though few facts or details have been confirmed as of late afternoon, the basis for filing the Campus Personal Protection Act remains the same,” Birdwell said in the statement. “This legislation is about ensuring that law-abiding citizens are able to defend themselves. It’s about trusting citizens with their rights.”

UT President William Powers Jr. has said he will oppose the bill. 

Students on campus had mixed reactions to the Lone Star College shooting.

“This incident reinforces the point of the gun control debate going on now,” said Zainab Haider, a community and regional planning graduate student. 

She said she supports making it more difficult to acquire guns.

Other UT students disagreed with tightened gun legislation. 

“More restrictions on guns won’t prevent shootings,” sociology sophomore Stephan Drawe said. 

Although Drawe disagrees with increased gun regulation, he also said he is against the idea of allowing people to carry concealed firearms on campus.

The Lone Star College incident is the latest in a string of public school shootings following the December shooting in Newtown, Conn. where 26 people were killed.

Printed on Thursday, January 24, 2013 as: Mixed reactions follow latest campus shooting