Police search for suspect near school

October 17, 2008 2:41:10 PM PDT
The search for a gunman put three HISD schools into lockdown. Ketelsen Elementary, Marshall Middle School and Davis High School were all under lockdown until just before 3pm. It all started with a robbery, a shooting and a SWAT scene at a check-cashing business on Quitman near Chestnut, near the elementary school, north of downtown Houston. Witnesses say around noon, a man wearing a camouflage jacket stormed into the business carrying a large gun.

"My brother-in-law, he saw somebody coming in," said witness Cheryl Gonzales. "I guess he saw the big gun, because he said, 'They're gonna rob us! They're gonna rob us!' So he ran to make sure that the door was locked. That's when they just started shooting. We all threw ourselves on the ground and the guy started shooting."

When police arrived, a sergeant called for a SWAT backup. Officers thought the suspect might be hiding in a storage unit connected to that business. They were very concerned because of the proximity of three HISD schools.

Eventually the business was searched and cleared, but just as SWAT officers were leaving, HPD received a report that the suspect might be in Ketelsen Elementary. They increased their search, and actually went inside the school, but the man was not found. Relieved parents picked up their children at about the normal release time.

Police are treating this as a homicide scene. The shooting victim died at a hospital, but has not been publicly identified at this time.

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