A north Austin high school was on lockdown Tuesday afternoon after an apparent suicide. Authorities tell FOX 7 it happened around lunchtime and are still investigating.
Reps with AISD tell us a student fatally shot himself in the courtyard of Lanier High School. Other kids were nearby when it happened because it was during lunch time.
"I didn't know what he was pulling out of his jacket. It sounded like a firecracker," said Lanier High School Sophomore, Shekinah Dawson.
Chaos is a good way to describe the scene on the Lanier High School campus in north Austin.
Police blocked off entrances to the school as parents grouped together on the sidewalk, desperate to go inside and take their children home.
"Regret to inform you that a student has succumbed to a fatal self-inflicted wound," said AISD Police Chief, Eric Mendez. "The school was immediately placed on lockdown."
Once the lockdown was lifted faculty and students poured out of the building, some crying, looking panicked and confused.
Just about an hour earlier, some of them, like Shekinah Dawson, witnessed one of their classmates shoot himself with a gun on the school's courtyard.
Dawson said, "He just pulled the gun out of his jacket and he was like, bam, and he was like on the floor, twitching and everything."
"All of a sudden I heard this loud 'pow,'" said Jennifer Viti was on campus, picking up her daughter for a doctor's appointment, when it happened. "The boy walked right past me and I can see on his facial expression something was wrong. It sounded like loud firecrackers, but it was just one shot."
She says she called 911 right away.
"They told me to stay on the phone because there was 30 other calls coming through from this location," Viti said. "You could tell that he was a Hispanic boy...the gun was on his side. He was on his back and they turned him on his side. The nurse went in to help him...He was bleeding a lot... I can see the actual images in my head."
Lanier Junior, Alexis Vasques, says he knew the 16 year-old.
"All he did was post a Facebook status that he was gonna do it and then he did it...people that knew him and people that were close to him were crying and sad for his loss...He was a good friend of mine," said Vasques.
We didn't want to show you the Facebook post, but an excerpt reads like this:
"I don't know if this is going to affect people or if ya'll are even going to care but I just want to say I'm taking my life away not for my ex but cause I'm tired to be who I am I have give my mom a lot of pain trouble...I just want to say I'm sorry..."
Viti asked, "How in the world did this child get a gun in the school? Why isn't there any metal detectors?"
"I can safely say that no AISD high school has metal detectors," said Alex Sanchez with the Austin Independent School District.
Reps with AISD say they're not allowed to check students or their bags for banned items like guns.