HOUSTON - The accused gunman in the shooting at Lone Star College's North Harris campus was arrested early Friday. He claims the shooting was self-defense, according to community activist Quanell X.
Trey Foster, 22, was taken into custody without incident by U.S. marshals as part of the Gulf Coast Violent Offenders Task Force in a Plano house north of Dallas-Fort Worth shortly after 1 a.m. He arrived at the Harris County Jail at 6:25 a.m.
Foster was charged with two counts of aggravated assault. Officers confiscated a pistol from Foster during his arrest. Tests will determine if that weapon was the same used in the college shooting.
Harris County sheriff's deputies said a dispute 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 sparked the shooting.
According to court records, Jody Neal, 25, bumped into Foster and they got into an argument. They parted ways, but 30 minutes later Foster, who was with Carlton Berry, 22, saw Neal again and they got into another argument, officials said. Berry told investigators that Foster then fired shots at Neal.
When asked why he got into a fight with Neal, Foster said, "Someone bumped me." He also told reporters that he knew Berry.
"What we had here was idiocy, stupidity," Sheriff Adrian 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."
At least 10 shots were fired, according to Garcia.
Quanell X said he spoke to Foster after his arrest. He said Foster told him that he didn't want to shoot anybody, but Neal threw a punch at him and he opened fire to defend himself.
"He just wanted me to say he's not some monster," Quanell X said. "He was not going to school looking for a confrontation, not looking for trouble, but he had his weapon on him because he had been shot before."
"He has indicated that he always carries a gun," Garcia said.
Foster has a criminal history. He was convicted of possession of a prohibited weapon. At the time of his arrest, he was also wanted on an evading arrest charge. He was arrested last year and posted bond, but he never went back to court.
"Trey was on my bond for a couple months for resisting arrest," said Linda Traylor of Country Bonding. "I just think he's a kid that mixed up with the wrong crowd."
Quanell X said Foster told him that he had never met Neal before. Sources told KPRC Local 2 that Foster and Neal have police-documented affiliations with the Bloods gang.
Neal suffered gunshot wounds to his abdomen and leg. According to court records, he identified Foster as the shooter.
A maintenance man, Bobby Cliburn, was nearby when the shooting occurred and was wounded in the leg. He was released from a hospital on Wednesday. According to Quanell X, Foster said he was sorry that Cliburn was wounded.
Berry was shot while, investigators said, he put a gun into his back pocket. He was charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He remained hospitalized and in the custody of Harris County sheriff's deputies on Friday. His bond has been set at $60,000.
According to court documents, Neal said he misidentified Berry as the shooter shortly after the incident. Cliburn also said Berry was the man who shot him. Prosecutors said the charges against Berry will stand.
"They know each other, they were together when it all went down," Garcia said. "We're going to let the legal process sort it out."
Quanell X said Foster told him that Berry did not fire any shots and that Berry did not know he had a gun.
"It's just heartache and pain," said Sharonda Felix, Berry's mother. "I want justice. My son is innocent and I want him released."
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. Foster also has a criminal history that includes charges of resisting arrest and possession of a prohibited weapon.
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.
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