A 15-year-old Temple High School student is in critical condition at Scott and White Memorial Hospital after shooting himself in the head near the school’s tennis courts Tuesday shortly before 8:30 AM. The student’s name has not been released. A handgun was found near the injured student. Some students and staff are said to have witnessed the shooting, and some believe bullying was a factor in the student's decision to harm himself.

KCEN has reported that the shooter informed a friend via text that he planned to take his own life and, shortly before shooting himself, tried to convince her to shoot herself as well.

Haley Fowler, a freshman, says she received a text message the night before informing her of the boy's intentions. She spoke to him shortly before he harmed himself Tuesday morning. Fowler said:

He pulled me over to behind the school by the tennis courts and he showed me the gun. He was trying to get me to shoot myself as well, and I told him I couldn't and he just wouldn't let me go.

She eventually convinced him to let her leave. She was on her way to find a teacher when the young man shot himself, she says. She also says she informed counselors of the boy's intentions, but Temple ISD has not confirmed this.

The school was placed on hard lockdown as police were notified of the shooting. Temple ISD notified parents via email and social media, but once more information became available and the school was placed on soft lockdown, school officials asked that parents not pick up their children as there was no longer any immediate danger to them. However, some parents did choose to take their children home. The lockdown was lifted at 10:35 AM. It had been put in place to help control traffic on campus and maintain order and safety inside the school.

Temple ISD’s hard lockdown policy requires exterior doors are locked and glass doors are covered. Lights in classrooms are turned off as well, and students are kept quiet and away from doors and windows. During soft lockdowns, exteriors door are locked and classroom activities continue. Students are not released during either type of lockdown.

Counselors are being made available to staff and students in need.

Additional information received from the Temple Daily Telegram