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At least 10 killed in shooting at Texas’ Santa Fe High School; Suspect in custody

SANTA FE, Texas — 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.

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.

Live updates on the school shooting

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.

What we know about the shooting

Early morning attack

Gunfire erupted at the school, about 20 miles outside Galveston, not long after classes began around 7:30 a.m. CT, officials said. Authorities later found explosive devices — including pipe bombs and pressure cookers — in and near the school, the law enforcement official said.

The suspect is believed to be a student. A second person — also believed to be a student — has been detained as well, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said earlier.

The male that Gonzalez described as a suspect was injured, a law enforcement official said on condition of anonymity.

Investigators believe that the second person, an 18-year-old, may be an accomplice but not a shooter, a law enforcement official said.

Two law enforcement officers are among the injured, according to a law enforcement source.

One man is in critical condition with a gunshot wound in one of his arms, said David Marshall, chief nursing officer for University of Texas Medical Branch hospital.

This is the 22nd US school shooting since the beginning of the year, and the third instance in eight days in which a gunman was on a school campus.

Witnesses described students running from the school as they heard gunshots; they also described hearing an alarm at the school, though the sequence of events wasn’t immediately clear.

Authorities found explosive devices in the high school and in adjacent areas, said Walter Braun, Santa Fe Independent School District police chief. It wasn’t immediately clear if any had exploded.

Because the devices were found, Braun urged people in the city of about 13,000 people to “not touch any items that look out of place, and call 911” if they see something suspicious.

Investigators Friday afternoon were searching a trailer where they believe the devices were assembled, a law enforcement source said.

The school has been cleared of all students and staff, who have been directed to a nearby facility to reunite with their families, Braun said.

Witness: Shooter fired gun in an art class

An armed person walked into an art class at the school and began firing what looked like a shotgun, a witness told CNN affiliate KTRK.

The witness told KTRK she saw a girl shot in the leg.

Victims were being treated at three hospitals, authorities said. Eight people went to Clear Lake Regional Medical in Webster, Texas; two patients were treated at Mainland Medical Center in Texas City; and four patients went to John Sealy University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. It is unclear whether they were all wounded.

Six of the eight patients at Clare Lake Regional were discharged by Friday afternoon.

Witnesses describe hearing an alarm as well as gunfire

Angelica Martinez, a 14-year-old student, told CNN she and her schoolmates were being evacuated at one point “like it’s a fire drill.”

“We were all standing (outside), but not even five minutes later, we started hearing gunshots,” she said. “And then everybody starts running, but, like, the teachers are telling us to stay put, but we’re all just running away.”

“I didn’t see anybody shooting, but like (the gunshots) were kind of spaced,” Angelica said, adding she heard about four shots.

A witness who spoke to KTRK also said she heard an alarm. She didn’t specify if that was before or after the gunfire she described in the art class.

She said she couldn’t describe the shooter.

“I didn’t look. I just ran,” she said.

Another student, Dakota Shrader, told CNN affiliate KPRC that she heard gunshots only after hearing an alarm in the school.

“I was in the history hallway, and as soon as we heard the alarms, everybody just started leaving following the same procedure as … (a) practice fire drill,” Shrader said, breaking into tears. “And next thing you know, we just hear … three gunshots, loud explosions, and all the teachers are telling us to run.”

MaKenna Evans, a 16-year-old sophomore, told CNN she was in geometry class when the shooting started.

First, she heard a fire alarm, she said. When the students got outside, her principal told them all to run.

Evans said students hid behind a building across the street from the school.

The high school has about 1,400 students, according to GreatSchools.org.

Trump: Mass shootings have been ‘going on too long in our country’

Trump addressed the school shooting, saying that mass shootings have been “going on too long.”

“Unfortunately, I have to begin by expressing our sadness and heartbreak over the deadly shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas,” Trump said from the East Room of the White House. “This has been going on too long in our country. Too many years. Too many decades now.”

Trump said federal authorities are coordinating with local officials.

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

22 comments

  • Rusty Knyffe

    This is absolutely a dreadful tragedy that could probably been curtailed if people had been paying attention.

    Trenchcoat? So what? It’s the HIPPA laws that prevent communication between relevant parties that could have identified the participants’ mental health issues in advance of their actions. Clearly, people don’t just wake up on some random morning and say to themselves, “Gee, today might be a good day to shoot some people.” It takes weeks, months, YEARS of dysfunctional thinking for a person to get to that point.

    And…….the “Gun Free Zone” has proven that it’s an abject failure like the previous administration was to “do something” – ANYTHING – proactive outside of attempting to disarm law-abiding citizens. Now’s not the time for gun control discussion.

  • Norman Vincent

    Again the gun is blamed. The question is why? What set him off? Bullying by teachers and students was mentioned in this case.

  • AMJoy Fan

    The real shame here is our so-called President is too busy obstructing justice and covering up his crimes to have the time to keep our children safe! SHAME on him! #Notmypresident #Impeach45

    • J (@ds18301)

      Well said. I would only add that besides his treasonous acts, his only motivation for doing anything is to further enrich himself and his billionaire buddies at the expense of the taxpayers. The WH to him is just a marketing tool for his businesses. He detests poor people (i.e. anyone with less than a few hundred million) and will only get anywhere close to them at from a podium at one of his H*tler-style rallies before jetting off to one of his gold-toilet palaces to wash the stink off.

    • jimbrony

      And what measures did Obama put in place after all the shootings on his watch? Grow up. #stillourpresident #MAGA #meltsnowflakemelt
      #fourmoreyears
      #iamthenra

      • J (@ds18301)

        Your kidding, right? Obama, against all odds, was able to impose a ban on selling/possession of weapons by the mentally ill. This of course was (shamefully) turned over in February by the NRA-owned GOP and signed by trump. All other attempts by Obama were decried by the tin hat people as “polticizing” or “too soon” and all we need are worthless “thoughts and prayers”. Get informed — if you want to convince people, turn off fox and learn some facts. Oh I forgot, we have a “president” for whom the truth is bothersome, lying is just fine and dandy and so facts are a waste of time to you since you admire this kind of abject immorality so much. I hope you teach that to your kids….

      • Silverfish Imperetrix

        You have a problem with telling the truth, don’t you? The Obama administration had proposed requiring Social Security to search its records and report people receiving disability benefits or supplemental income payments and who had someone else managing their finances, deeming them “mental defectives” who shouldn’t be able to buy firearms. Various mental health groups, and even the ACLU opposed it, claiming it “cast too big of a net” and falsely classified 75,000 to 85,000 people as being mentally ill and denying them their 2nd Amendment rights.

      • jimbrony

        WellJ@BR549, regardless of what Obama did or didn’t do, the ‘mentally ill act’ would not have prevented the majority of the shootings. The shooters got their hands on the firearms from others. Would it have prevented the Pulse shooting? How about Parkland? Should I continue? Hate to disappoint you, but I really don’t care for Fox News. What I do care for is common sense, rational thinking, and respect. Something you seem to lacking. But by all means, keep up the hate and go watch The View or whatever other treasonous venom is out there.

  • jimbrony

    Good thing all those stores stopped selling AR-style rifles, and others raised the purchase age to 21. Maybe a few more protests, vigils, and walkouts are in order.

  • My Foot

    The Tone of this country has become..mean spirited name calling…,juvenile tweets…this is not a gun issue….I am feeling sad.

    • lickerblisters

      J- What about all the Vietnam vets who have died this year from their Agent Orange complications? Oh yeah, you forgot about them didn’t you? Of course you did.

      • jimbrony

        J only cares about things that furthers the hate against the White House. I guess all the daily abortions, Chicago shootings, and veteran suicides mean nothing to J because he can’t blame Trump for them.

  • AMJoy Fan

    Enough is enough! The Second Amendment is about the National Guard, not the so-called right of hate mongers to commit mass murder. Once again the criminal Trump has blood on his hands!

  • lickerblisters

    This folks is a direct result of a societal breakdown, not guns. Our country has had guns for the last 200 plus years without school shootings until the last 20 years. Oh yeah, and no assault rifles were used in this shooting Liberals.

    • Glorious

      Its not a simple answer but its a result of a few critical issues that stand out when you compare the US to other countries in the world. We have the most guns per capita than all but one country add to that the chronic breakdown in the family unit over the last 30 years. The liberals cant seem to figure out that some of this is a direct result of their wishes.
      Google: What Explains U.S. Mass Shootings? International Comparisons Suggest an Answer from the NY Times.

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