Preliminary reports of an active shooter at North Lake College outside Dallas, Texas placed the campus of over 11,000 students on lockdown Wednesday afternoon. The Irving, Texas Police Department confirmed the shooting via Twitter around 1:00 p.m. ET and told citizens to avoid the area.
UPDATE: At 1:47 p.m., the Irving police department tweeted that there is "one victim deceased and the shooter has committed suicide."
EARLIER: "There appears to be no continuing threat but police will continue to search to make the campus safe," the Irving police department said in a follow up tweet. The Irving Independent School District told ABC affiliate station WFAA that the nearby Singley Academy and MacArthur High School were also placed under lockdown at the onset of the incident. Those lockdowns should be lifted as soon as police are done sweeping the college for additional threats.
According to the local Fox affiliate station KDFW, the shooting suspect was "a white male wearing an orange tank top" who was caught on video carrying a handgun through the school. The Dallas Morning News reported that Irving police spokesperson James McLellan called the situation a "credible threat," and also described the suspect as having brown hair and a buzz cut.
An eyewitness also told The Morning News that the shooting victim was a female whom the shooter stood over and shot three times. At this time, the relationship between the shooter and the victim is unknown, as is the shooter's motive. However, this eyewitness account does seem to indicate that the shooting was premeditated and specific.
Texas is one of 10 states that legally allow students to carry firearms on college campuses, which may have impeded both the school's and the police department's ability to prevent the tragic incident. Even North Lake College's specific security protocols still would not have been able to prevent the shooter from bringing the weapon onto the campus, so long as the weapon was legally registered to the shooter, and the shooter was over 21 and properly licensed.
Some unanswered questions about the shooter's identity and motives persist, but more information should become available as the investigation continues. In the meantime, you can contact Texas state legislators and urge them to repeal the campus carry law, so that fewer of these heartbreaking shootings may happen in the future. No more young lives should be cut short by gun violence on college campuses that are supposed to be safe.