Santa Fe High School Shooting: Nine Students, One Teacher Dead; Suspect ID’d – Update


UPDATED with additional information: A death count of 10 in the shooting at Santa Fe High School near Houston, including nine students and one teacher, has been confirmed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Ten people were wounded, including a sheriff’s deputy.

At a press conference, Abbott also said that the weapons used by the 17-year-old gunman were a shotgun and a revolver, and that both weapons were legally owned by the shooter’s father.

The suspected gunman – a student of Texas’ Santa Fe High – is in police custody and has been identified as 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis. He’s been charged with capital murder and is being held without bond.

Another person, possibly a student, has also been detained, local police say, and though his connection to the shooting has not been detailed, he’s been described by police as a possible accomplice. Police have determined a third person who also will be interviewed for potential information.

“This has been going on too long in our country too many years, too many decades now,” said President Donald Trump. “We grieve for the terrible loss of life and send our support and love to everyone affected by this absolutely horrific attack.” Trump did not specifically mention guns, background checks, gun control beyond keeping “weapons” out of the hands of those “who pose a threat” or the possibility of arming teachers or school staff, a plan he’s endorsed before. (See his entire comment below).

The school went on lockdown sometime before 8 a.m. local time, with law enforcement receiving first calls at 7:32 a.m. The wounded began arriving at the University of Texas Medical Center Branch in nearby Galveston around 8:30.

Explosive devices were found at and near the school. Other devices – including a co2 device and a molotov cocktail – were later found in the suspected shooter’s home and vehicle, according to reports.

Walter Braun, Santa Fe’s chief of police, confirmed earlier today that explosive devices were discovered by police both at the school and on adjacent property. He cautioned the community to be on the lookout for suspicious, “out of place” items and instructed people not to touch the items but to call 911 immediately. The devices were later reported to be pipe bomb-type explosives.

The gunman is thought to have entered the building around 7:30 a.m. A fire alarm was been pulled, possibly by the shooter, with the gunfire following.

The Santa Fe Independent School District tweeted that explosive devices were found at the school and off campus. “Law enforcement is in the process of rendering them safe,” the district wrote.

Most of the dead were students, police report. The school’s assistant principal, Cris Richardson, had confirmed earlier today that the suspect was arrested.

University of Texas medical center officials in nearby Galveston confirmed earlier that three people were being treated for gun injuries, two in good condition and one in critical condition. The critically injured person, reportedly a sheriff’s deputy possibly working as a school safety officer, was described as a middle-aged man with an upper arm wound (first reported as a chest wound) and is undergoing surgery after suffering considerable loss of blood, hospital officials said; the two in good condition, one adult and one student, have leg wounds.

President Donald Trump addressed the shooting on camera at the start of a planned press conference:

“Unfortunately, I have to begin by expressing our sadness and heartbreak over the deadly shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas that just took place moments ago. We’re closely monitoring the situation and federal authorities are coordinating with local officials. This has been going on too long in our country too many years, too many decades now. We grieve for the terrible loss of life and send our support and love to everyone affected by this absolutely horrific attack. To the students, families, teachers and personnel at Santa Fe High, we’re with you at this tragic hour, and we’ll be with you forever. 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 to others. Everyone must work together at every level of government to keep our children safe. May God heal the injured, and may God comfort the wounded, and may God be with the victims and with the victims’ families. Very sad day. Very, very sad.”

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