A man was charged after he opened fire during a dispute at a north Harris County college, shooting a 25-year-old man, a maintenance man, and accidentally shooting himself, deputies said.
Carlton Berry, 22, was charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Harris County sheriff's deputies said the shooting happened outside the library on the Lone Star College's North Harris campus, 2700 W. W. Thorne Drive near Aldine Westfield, at 12:19 p.m. Tuesday.
Investigators said the shooting stemmed from a dispute between two men. At least 10 shots were fired, according to Sheriff Adrian Garcia.
"What we had here was idiocy, stupidity," Garcia said. "We had individuals who did not care about putting other people in harm's way. It was a ridiculous, adolescent confrontation that occurred."
The maintenance man, Bobby Cliburn, was shot in the leg. He was released from a hospital on Wednesday.
Investigators said Berry accidentally shot himself in the leg while he was putting his gun back into his pocket. Garcia said that weapon has not been recovered and urged anyone who knows where it is to call investigators immediately.
In the moments after the shooting, Harris County Sheriff's Deputies and other officers searched the grounds near the college. The sheriff said they were looking for two important clues: a pistol and a possible second suspect.
A sheriff's department source told Local 2 that a man was apparently with Berry at the time shots were fired. The source said a person believed to be Berry's friend dropped his backpack, with identification, near the school, shortly after the shooting.
Sources said the gun may have been taken by a friend who ran from the building shortly after the shooting.
Berry remained hospitalized and in the custody of Harris County sheriff's deputies on Wednesday. His bond has been set at $60,000.
Berry is scheduled to appear in court Thursday to have an attorney assigned. However, that is unlikely as he was still recovering Wednesday night.
Berry has a criminal past, including arrests in 2011 and 2012 for possession of marijuana. He was also arrested for a theft charge in 2009.
The third person who was shot was identified as 25-year-old Jody Neal. Deputies said he suffered gunshot wounds to his abdomen and leg.
Neal also has a criminal history. He was convicted of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle in 2004 and possession of a switchblade/knuckles and misdemeanor assault in 2010.
Garcia said investigators were working to determine if Neal, or someone else in the area, also fired shots.
Dr. Richard Carpenter of Lone Star College said campus police heard the shots being fired and responded immediately. Harris County deputies were on the scene about four minutes later, Garcia said.
Garcia also asked anyone with cellphone video of the shooting to turn it over to deputies immediately. At least eight investigators have been dedicated to the case, Garcia said.
A fourth person, a woman, was transported to a hospital after she suffered an anxiety attack. She is expected to be OK.
Maintenance man talks about shooting
Cliburn, 69, talked to Local 2 exclusively Wednesday morning from his hospital room at Houston Northwest Medical Center.
"My intentions at first were just trying to calm the situation down, but this guy came out and he took two steps and he started shooting," the retired Marine said.
Cliburn said he was on his way to tackle a maintenance issue at the college Tuesday when he heard a commotion, two men yelling in the courtyard near the library.
"There was 4, 5, 6 rounds shot. After the first two rounds, I immediately tried to get behind a column there," he said.
Seconds later, Cliburn was shot in the leg. He left the hospital Wednesday with the bullet still lodged in his calf.
"What they want to do is let it heal then come back and take it out," said Cliburn who has worked at Lone Star College's North Harris campus for 10 years.
Cliburn planned to return to work when he was physically able.
"I'm not a quitter," he said.
Students terrified after hearing shots
Students said they were extremely afraid after the shooting.
"I was waiting for my English class to start. It was five minutes before class and all of a sudden, I heard shots fired and people started rushing in the hallway. A few students even came in to our room seeking shelter and we closed the door and we pushed the table against the door and we were hiding," student Amanda Vasquez said. "You never think this is going to happen to you."