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Posts published in “Day: January 29, 2013

Shooting at Lone Star College, 3 injured. Two charged, shooter arrested in Dallas


Northeast News

NORTHEAST – According to Major Armando Tello of the Harris County Sheriff’s department, at about 12:20 p.m. on Tuesday, January 22, 2013, an altercation developed between three young men on the campus of Lone Star College-North Harris.

As the disagreement escalated, one of the men allegedly drew a gun and fired at the other. First reports indicated that a maintenance man and the shooter also suffered wounds. In the melee that ensued, he may have shot himself as well as the other person, the maintenance man. However, as later evidence was developed, it turned out that there was a second person who fled the scene, and may have been the actual shooter. This person, Trey Foster, was arrested the next day in Plano, Texas near a family home.

An additional victim in the disturbance was a woman student, who was not involved in the fight or gunplay, but suffered a medical conditon, perhaps a heart attack.

Witnesses told media reporters that they heard six or seven gun shots. The activity occured in a courtyard between the library and an academic building, they said.

Authorities responded immediately to the shots, and EMS personnel who train at the college were on the scene in a few minutes, witnesses said, as well as Sheriff’s officers, Pct. 4 constables and Lone Star College police.

Because those involved were both wounded, the real danger was quickly contained. However, because officials did not know the complete circumstances that led to the shooting, they assumed there might be more danger. Therefore, they “locked down” the campus and eventually evacuated all students and personnel, as a Harris County SWAT team arrived and methodically searched each building.

Officials transported the two wounded men to Ben Taub hospital and were under armed guard by deputies; the custodian was also treated for a gunshot wound. And the woman with the heart condition was sent to the hospital for evaluation and treatment.

As the scene developed, and with the possibility of other shooters, nearby Aldine ISD schools were put into “lock-down,” the campuses were sealed to the public, and students were sequestered. This happened at Nimitz High School, Nimitz 9th grade school, Parker Intermediate, and Dunn Elementary. All of these schools are along W. W. Thorne Drive in the immediate proximity to the Lone Star campus.

By evening, the campus was quiet, and almost everyone had left. The public schools were released from lock-down in the middle of the afternoon, and most students were dismissed near their regular times.

The LSC campus remained closed for the rest of the day and classes resumed on Wednesday (January 23) morning at their regularly schedule time.

“The Sheriff’s Office and local education officials frequently meet, plan and train to deal with the threat of violence on or near schools – and throughout our sprawling county,” Sheriff Adrian Garcia said. “With the shootings at Newtown, Connecticut and elsewhere fresh on our minds, we remain vigilant about the aching need for students of any age to feel safe in their classrooms and other facilities.ÿ

“I’m grateful no one was killed in this local incident. I’m grateful Lone Star College will be able to re-open tomorrow [Wednesday, January 23]. I’m grateful for the response by our personnel and other emergency responders to this frightening act,” Sheriff Garcia added. “But gratefulness is no cause for complacency in the future.”


Help after the shooting

Counselors were on hand on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at LSC-North Harris to talk with students regarding the altercation the day before and forums were held on campus to discuss campus safety issues.

More than 250 attended the forums held for students, faculty and staff. Other discussion forums are being scheduled and times will be announced in the near future.ÿ

LSC-North Harris President Dr. Steve Head said that many students and employees also took advantage of the counselors available.

ÿ“Understandably some were a little on edge,” Dr. Head said. “But in the 40-year history of this college, this is the first-ever incident we’ve ever had.”

ÿThe campus was open for classes on Wednesday but some limited areas were not accessible due to the ongoing investigation by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.ÿ

LSCS Chancellor Dr. Richard Carpenter said the college system has been cooperating fully with the Sheriff’s Office investigation and reiterated campus safety.

ÿ“We’re constantly striving to identify new and better ways to make our campuses safer,” said Dr. Carpenter. “We will review every process that occurred as a result of this incident to make our campuses as safe as possible for our students, faculty and staff.”

Additional gunman charged

ÿSheriff’s Office and college officials reconfirmed that the shooting last Tuesday (Jan.22) was a result of an altercation betweenÿtwo men and was not an active shooter scenario.

ÿThe LSCS employee who was wounded as an innocent bystander, Billy Cliburn, a maintenance technician, was released from the hospital on Wednesday, January 23. Carlton Berry, 22, and the other shooting victim, Jody Neal, 25, were guarded by deputies and recovering at an area hospital from gunshot wounds.

ÿSheriff’s Office officials reported that one of the suspects, Carlton Berry, who also was shot has been charged with two counts of aggravated assault, his bond has been set to $60,000. Berry was listed as an LSCS student.

Sheriff Adrian Garcia said that sheriff’s officers followed leads that pointed to a possible second suspect. Working with the Gulf Coast Task Force, they recovered the weapon used in the shooting and arrested Trey Foster in Plano, Texas.

According to court records and to KPRC local news, one of the students involved in the altercation, Jody Neal, “bumped into Trey Foster, 22, (the other student) and they got into an argument. They parted ways, but 30 minutes later Foster, who was with Carlton Berry saw Neal again and they got into another argument. Police said Berry told investigators that Foster then fired shots at Neal who suffered gunshot wounds to his abdomen and leg. Neal had been convicted of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle in 2004 and possesion of a switchblade/knuckles and misdemeanor assault in 2010.

Neal identified Foster as the shooter. Mr. Foster was arrested last Thursday (Jan. 24) early in the morning byÿmembers of the Gulf CoastÿViolent Offfenders and Fugitives Task Force in Plano, Texas. He is charged with aggravated assault with a deadlyÿweapon.ÿ


ÿDr. Carpenter praised the first responders who were part of the scene.

ÿ“The rapid response from the LSCS Police Department and many other local law enforcement agencies brought this situation under control quickly,” said Dr. Carpenter. “Our top priority remains the safety of all our students, faculty and staff, plus the surrounding community.”

HICC Annual Economic Forum examines Growth in North Houston, and the Future of Energy worldwide

Chamber members were treated to a double Forum of ideas and issues last Tuesday, Jan. 15 at the 7th Annual Economic Forum.

HICC president Reggie Gray arranged for the first part of the program to be a presentation of reports on growth in the various districts that make up North Houston. Presenters included Ray Lawrence, East Aldine District; Jerry Lowry, Greenspoint District; Teri Koerth, Airline District; Rebecca Reyna, Greater Northside; and Paul Lenz, North Houston Association.

Each North Houston speaker reviewed their most recent projects and indicated the growth factors in their market area. These presentations then led into the second round of speakers, who characterized the need for various types of energy in the future, and how their companies and organizations were preparing to meet these needs.

In addition to these two roundtables, the Chamber also received recognition as a new partner with the country of Mexico, and signed a formal agreement with ProMexico to represent mutual commercial interests between the two countries.

The relationship with Mexico was presented by Alejandro del Valle of Houston’s Hispanic Business Center. A formal agreement between the Chamber and ProMexico was signed by Gray and the Mexican representative, Jose Medina.

Gray explained that ProMexico is a division of the Department of Commerce of the Mexican government, with offices worldwide to promote trade and investment with Mexico. They currently have offices in Dallas and Houston, and plan another Houston office in the Hispanic Business Center in Greenspoint.

Each of the speakers in the Energy forum noted the need for more resources as the population grew, and became heavier users for technical and manufacturing purposes. They seemed to agree that in the future gas presented the best possibility to meet these needs, and each outlined their company’s strategies to serve this growth. They indicated that the alternative fuels, oil, coal, wind, solar, hydro would be important but not adequate to meet the demands.

Senate election ends in Runoff

Voters in Harris County Senate District 6 went to the polls Saturday, and voted for a replacement for the deceased Senator Mario Gallegos.

However, there were eight candidates on the ballot, and none received the required 50% majority required for election.

The two frontrunners received most of the votes, as political pundits had predicted. One was well known for her time in office as County Commissioner, and the other for her time as State Representative. Both Sylvia Garcia and Carol Alvarado are of Hispanic heritage, which it the primary characteristic of this Senate district, which extends from Greenspoint and Aldine on the west, to Baytown, Galena Park and Pasadena on the east. The voter turnout was surprising low for this high profile election. Only 16, 347 votes were counted, in a district with 292,433 registered voters.

Over half of the votes were cast as Absentee or Early, perhaps because it was possible to vote at any county location, rather than just your precinct.

Sylvia Garcia was the leading vote getter, with 7416 or 45.4%. Carol Alvarado was next, with 6803 votes or 41.6%. Other tallies were Bray 1014, Olmos 461, Martinez 403, Reyes 125, Selva 73, and Delgado 52 votes.

It will be necessary for the Governor to schedule a runoff election between the two top candidates. This will be called in the next month, so that the new Senator can join the Legislature currently in session. Whoever wins, she will become a powerful spokesperson for Houston’s Latino community.