10 dead, 10 wounded in TX high school shooting; suspect charged

10 dead, 10 wounded in TX high school shooting; suspect charged with capital murder

Multiple deaths have been reported from a shooting at Santa Fe High School. (Source: Harris County Sheriff's Office/Twitter) Multiple deaths have been reported from a shooting at Santa Fe High School. (Source: Harris County Sheriff's Office/Twitter)
The gunman has been identified as Dimitrios Pagourtzis, and he has been charged with capital murder. (Source: Galveston County Sheriff's Office/CNN) The gunman has been identified as Dimitrios Pagourtzis, and he has been charged with capital murder. (Source: Galveston County Sheriff's Office/CNN)
Police have responded to reports of an active school shooting situation in Santa Fe, TX. (Source: KTRK/CNN) Police have responded to reports of an active school shooting situation in Santa Fe, TX. (Source: KTRK/CNN)
People react outside the unification center at the Alamo Gym, following a shooting at Santa Fe High School Friday, May 18, 2018, in Santa Fe, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) People react outside the unification center at the Alamo Gym, following a shooting at Santa Fe High School Friday, May 18, 2018, in Santa Fe, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

SANTA FE, TX (RNN) - A student wearing a trench coat with a shotgun hidden underneath opened fire at Santa Fe High School Friday, killing 10 people and wounding 10 others.

It was the third school shooting of the week in the United States and came a day ahead of what were supposed to be graduation ceremonies at Santa Fe High.

The suspect, 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis, has been charged with multiple counts of capital murder. He made his initial court appearance Friday evening by video link from jail, the Associated Press reported.

Texas Rep. Michael McCaul, a former federal prosecutor, said he expects the Justice Department will pursue additional charges against Pagourtzis; those charges could possibly involve weapons of mass destruction, McCaul said.

Another person of interest has been taken into custody, in addition to the suspect. It's not clear if he's an accomplice.

The injured were transported to medical centers, including one school police officer, Walter Braun with the Santa Fe ISD Police Department said. Six were treated and released; one is in critical condition and another in fair condition.

Pagourtzis opened fire shortly after classes began at the school.

Authorities said he used two weapons in the attack, a .38 revolver and a shotgun. Both of them belonged to his father.

There were also pipe bombs and pressure cooker explosive devices found at the high school or nearby, officials said.

"It is with great sadness that I stand here to share with you that we experienced an unthinkable tragedy at our high school this morning," said Superintendent Leigh Wall. "We are grieving the loss of members of our SFISD family."

Santa Fe is located between Houston and Galveston. The city has about 13,000 residents, and the high school has 1,400 students.

Students and parents

Witnesses told KTRK the shooting took place in an art class between 7:30 and 7:45 a.m. 

"It was just a normal class day and we were just sitting there doing our work in first period, then all of a sudden, it was a fire drill," student Angelica Martinez said to CNN. 

"So we followed the fire drill procedures, and then we went outside and we were all standing there. But not even five minutes later, we all start hearing gunshots, and everybody starts running. But, like, the teachers were telling us to stay put because we were all just running away."

A mother of a student said her child called her about the incident.

"She called frantically to say there was a fire drill and they were outside," Angie Martinez said. "And then she heard gunshots and that was an active shooter. So I told her, I said, 'Run baby, run and hide.' I said, 'Get out of there.' ... I said, 'Go wherever you need to go ... go to the gas station.' There's a gas station caddy corner to the school. ... 'Me and your dad are on our way. Me and your dad are on our way. Just run.'"

One student told KTRK his friend pulled the school fire alarm after spotting a suspect with a gun. Other students said they heard sounds similar to gunfire.

Kara, a student at the school, said of the person who pulled the fire alarm, "Thank you for making a smart decision to save your classmates."

The politicians

Texas Gov. Greg Abbot said in a news conference that a majority of those killed were students. Some local media reports that one teacher was killed.

"The shooter obtained the guns from his father. His father was not aware his son had taken the guns," Abbot said.

The governor said he will be creating roundtable discussions on what can be done to prevent additional mass shootings. He said he wants to hear from teachers, mental health professionals, and parents, but wants to protect Second Amendment rights.

Pagourtzis' journals contain entries that he wanted to commit the shooting then take his own life, according to the governor.

The Associated Press reports that Pagourtzis played on the Santa Fe High School junior varsity football team, and is a member of a dance squad with a local Greek Orthodox church.

CNN reports that his social media accounts show him with fascist and neo-Nazi symbols as well as wearing a T-shirt that reads "Born to Kill."

"Texas has seen too many of these," said Sen. Ted Cruz. "We need to be doing everything humanly possible to stop this from happening again."

President Donald Trump addressed the shooting in remarks from the White House.

"We're with you in this tragic hour, and we'll be with you forever," he said.

The Parkland connection

This may be the deadliest school shooting since the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting on Feb. 14, which killed 17 and brought new impetus to the gun safety debate.

Several students from the Parkland, FL, school have become vocal advocates of gun safety, and some in right-wing circles have harshly criticized the students.

Cameron Kasky, a Stoneman Douglas student, expressed his anger at another school shooting, remarking in part, "Prepare for the right-wing media to attack the survivors."

Another deadly Texas mass shooting took place in November.

A former Air Force serviceman who had been court-martialed for domestic violence, Devin Patrick Kelley, killed 26 at a church in Sutherland Springs, TX, outside San Antonio.

The massacre included nine members of the Holcombe family, including the visiting pastor at the church, Bryan Holcombe.

Copyright 2018 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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