BREAKING: Officials identify suspect in shooting that killed 10 at Texas’ Santa Fe High School

Governor Greg Abbott confirms the number of fatalities in a shooting at a high school about an hour south-east of Houston

0
Santa Fe High School junior Guadalupe Sanchez, 16, cries in the arms of her mother, Elida Sanchez, after reuniting with her at a meeting point at a nearby Alamo Gym fitness center following a shooting at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, on Friday, May 18, 2018. (Michael Ciaglo/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Ten people were killed and 10 others were wounded Friday morning by a teenager with a shotgun and a revolver at a high school in the southeastern Texas city of Santa Fe, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said.

Authorities have said two people have been detained in the shooting at Santa Fe High School. The Galveston County Sheriff’s Office identified the shooter as Dimitrios Pagourtzis, who is 17.
PHOTO: Between eight and 10 people were killed in the gunfire. (AP: Michael Ciaglo/Houston Chronicle)
He is in jail, accused of capital murder, the sheriff’s office said. Nine students and one teacher died, a law enforcement official told CNN.
The alleged shooter used a shotgun and a .38 revolver that were legally owned by his father, Abbott told reporters. Two school resource officers were on the campus and confronted the shooter “early on in the process,” Abbott said.

“It was going to happen eventually. It’s been happening everywhere. I was ready to run out but my teacher told me to hide instead so that’s what I did,” another student said.

Friday’s assault was the deadliest in Texas since a man with an assault rifle attacked a rural church late last year, killing more than two dozen people.

It comes three months after the February 14 attack in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17.

US Vice-President Mike Pence said he and President Donald Trump were briefed on the shooting.

Mr Pence said the students, families, teachers and all those affected should know: “‘We’re with you. You’re in our prayers and I know you are in the prayers of the American people.”

“This has been going on for far too long in our country,” Mr Trump said.

“We grieve for the terrible loss of life and send our support and love to everyone affected by this absolutely horrific attack.

“My administration is determined to do everything in our power to protect our students, secure our schools and to keep weapons out of the hands of those who pose a threat to themselves and others.”

First lady Melania Trump also weighed in on Twitter, saying her “heart goes out to Santa Fe and all of Texas today”.

PHOTO: Students protested at government buildings in the wake of the Parkland shootings. (Reuters: Brendan McDermid)

‘An all too familiar feeling’

The shooting is all but certain to re-ignite the national debate over gun regulations.

In the aftermath of the attack on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, survivors petitioned city councils and state politicians, and organised protests in a grass-roots movement.

Within weeks, state politicians adopted changes, including new weapons restrictions.

The move cemented the gun-friendly state’s break with the National Rifle Association. The NRA fought back with a lawsuit.

In late March, the teens spearheaded one of the largest student protest marches since Vietnam in Washington and inspired hundreds of other marches from California to Japan.

Parkland survivors took to social media to express outrage and heartbreak over the Texas attack.

“My heart is so heavy for the students of Santa Fe High School. It’s an all too familiar feeling no one should have to experience,” Marjory Stoneman Douglas student Jaclyn Corin said in a tweet.

“I am so sorry this epidemic touched your town — Parkland will stand with you now and forever.”

She also directed her frustration at Mr Trump, writing: “Our children are being MURDERED and you’re treating this like a game. This is the 22nd school shooting just this year. DO SOMETHING.”

The calls for tighter gun controls that have swelled since the February mass shooting at a Florida high school have barely registered in gun-loving Texas — at least to this point.

Texas has some of the country’s most permissive gun laws and just hosted the NRA’s annual conference earlier this month.

In the run-up to Texas’ march primaries, gun control was not a main issue with candidates of either party.

Republicans did not soften their views on guns, and Democrats campaigned on a range of issues instead of zeroing in on gun violence.

Latest developments

• Officials are discussing whether to also bring federal charges against the shooting suspect, a federal law enforcement source told CNN. Because he is 17, it would require special permission from the US attorney general.
• One classmate told CNN the alleged shooter was “really quiet and he wore like a trench coat almost every day.”
• Abbott said investigators have found journals on a computer and cell phone owned by the suspect.
• The governor offered his sympathies to the victims then called for lawmakers and others to come together to prevent more tragedies. “We need to do more than just pray for the victims and their families. It’s time in Texas that we take action to step up and make sure this tragedy is never repeated ever again.”
• Retired Houston Police officer John Barnes was one of the people shot at Santa Fe High School, a hospital official said. Houston’s police chief tweeted that he visited the hospital where Barnes was being treated and that Barnes was “hanging in there.” The officer was working as a Santa Fe officer, a police union official tweeted.
• The school district sent a statement to the community. In the letter officials said: “Today is a day to be in mourning those we have lost and nursing those who are hurt. We are in this together.”
• President Donald Trump has ordered US flags at federal facilities be flown at half-staff.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.