HOUSTON, Texas (USA TODAY) - A Texas teen removed from a Houston-area high school Wednesday after threatening self-harm shot himself in the head while handcuffed in the back of a moving police car, according to news reports.
Constable deputies had searched the North Shore student, but he somehow retrieved a "hidden gun" and shot himself in the back of the head, said a spokesman for the Galena Park Independent School District, the Houston Chronicle reports.
The student was conscious when he arrived at Ben Taub General Hospital and was listed in critical condition.
"I know he was searched. He might have had it hidden really well," said Jonathan Frey, the school district spokesman. He did not know whether Harris County Constable Precinct 3 deputies, who provide school security, found a weapon during their search.
The student, whose identity and grade were not released, was arrested on suspicion of bringing a gun to school. Authorities have not identified any gun or guns involved.
KPRC-TV, citing officials, reports that deputies missed a gun the student had concealed under his shirt and that the student shot himself while being driven to an ambulance that was called to campus.
School officials were alerted around 10:30 a.m. CT (11:30 a.m. ET) after another student reported getting a text message from the victim saying he planned to harm himself, Frey said.
KPRC says the student had been depressed since breaking up with his girlfriend in September. He was found in a restroom and "appeared to be mentally unstable," the station writes. It took two officers to remove him.
The Harris County Sheriff's Office is investigating.