By MICHELLE CASADY
Hundreds of Navasota High School students sought counseling Wednesday after hearing that their classmate, 16-year-old Kallie Neutzler, died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the abdomen.
Officials with the Grimes County Sheriff's Office said family members called police around 6 a.m. after they found her in her bedroom.
She was taken to College Station Medical Center, and at 7:16 a.m., the junior cheerleader was pronounced dead.
"It's just been very emotionally raw on campus today," said Superintendent Rory Gesch. "A lot of emotions are just pouring out of people."
Foul play is not suspected, and the preliminary investigation indicates the gunshot wound was self-inflicted. Officers said her body was sent to Austin for an autopsy.
Navasota High School counselor Bill Irvine said every available counselor in the district as well as some from neighboring communities were on campus offering services to students.
Gesch said crisis management experts also were on campus Wednesday from the Education Service Center Region VI, based in Huntsville.
He said hundreds of the 790 students enrolled at the school came either to the library or to private offices nearby to visit with the grief counselors.
Gesch said counselors are scheduled to be on campus Thursday as well and said services would be made available to any parents in need.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, suicide is the third leading cause of death for people ages 15 to 24.
Irvine said about 100 people, mostly students, attended a prayer service Wednesday night at the First Baptist Church in Navasota.
Anyone who is in crisis and needs to talk can call the 24-hour National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK.