Parents of children at a border town middle school were frightened Monday when they learned police had surrounded the school after gun fire was reported and two children were taken to the hospital with bullet wounds. When parents arrived however, many said they were not given any answers from school officials or police officers, only adding frustration to their fear.
Monday, after regular school had ended, Harwell Middle School in Edinburg, TX was holding tryouts for the boys’ basketball team outside. Out of no where, at least two bullets were fired towards the basketball courts, hitting one boy making a layup and another sitting on the curb.
Neither the coach nor other students saw a shooter, though the coach told Hidalgo County Police he believed it appeared to have come from the west.
Immediately after the report came in that shots were fired, a Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter was dispatched. Upon searching the area, hunters were found north of the school. One hunter was carrying a .223-caliber rifle, while the other two hunters were carrying .30-caliber rifles.
Land north and west of the school is often leased to deer hunters, and early thoughts are that the students were hit by the hunters’ stray bullets.
The boys, age 13 and 14, were both taken to the hospital with gunshot wounds. The 14-year-old was taken in critical condition to Rio Grande Regional Hospital in McAllen, TX. He was hit in the upper torso, with the bullet lodging itself in one of his organs. Doctors stated that if he had gotten to the hospital any later he likely would have died, as he was bleeding internally.