A 17-year-old boy has admitted to being the attacker in a stabbing at a Houston-area high school on Wednesday that left three students injured and one student dead, officials said.
The teen admitted to the stabbing that killed Joshua Devon Broussard, a fellow 17-year-old student at Spring High School, about 25 miles north of downtown Houston, according to the Harris County Sheriff's Office. He has been arrested on suspicion of murder.
The bloody confrontation, which happened shortly after 7 a.m., prompted a lockdown at the roughly 3,000-student campus as police and frightened parents flooded the scene. It was at the school that one of Joshua's parents learned that he had died, according to a sheriff's news release.
The three injured students -- two age 16 and one 17 -- were treated at local hospitals and released, officials said.
Students tweeted that the fight happened in the school's cafeteria and triggered a brief stampede. One witness said she saw another student, bloody, in the halls. Some students commented over social media that there were racial tensions between black and Latino students at the school.
“It was an ongoing battle between kids [of different races]," Pastor E.A. Deckard of Green House International Church told reporters Wednesday as he was flanked by family members of one of the victims. "A simple misunderstanding that has been ongoing over a period of time.... This was not gang violence."
Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia said at a news conference Wednesday that investigators had yet to recover any weapons, which were thought to be "cutting instruments." School police arrived at the scene within a minute of the fight breaking out, Garcia said.
Authorities did not specify how the fight began.
Three students were initially taken into custody as persons of interest, officials said, but only one has been arrested.
Ralph H. Draper, superintendent of the Spring Independent School District, expressed his sympathies for the victims and their families.
“Every parent sends their child to school believing that school should be one of the safe-haven places.... It’s what we spend our night and days working for, and what I lose sleep over," Draper said. “We go into this business to make life better for children, and they need to be able to trust the adults who are responsible for their security and their care.”
Administrators said the school would be closed Thursday and Friday and would have additional security, as well as crisis counselors on hand to help students cope.
[For the Record, 2:05 p.m. Sept. 5: An earlier version of this post omitted the full name of stabbing victim Joshua Devon Broussard.]