17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis has been identified as the person responsible for today’s shooting at Santa Fe High School that killed at least eight and injured at least 12. Unconfirmed reports indicated that Pagourtzis reportedly used a shotgun in the shooting, however, police have yet to confirm what type of weapon Pagourtzis used. In addition to the deadly mass shooting, police found pressure cookers and pipe bombs around the school, some of which Pagourtzis threw into classrooms. Pagourtzis, an 11th-grade student at the high school, was first identified by CBS News.
Santa Fe High School in Texas was placed on when the shooting took place in an art class on school grounds around 7:30 a.m. local time. Santa Fe Police, Galveston County Sheriff’s Office and ATF agents all responded to the scene. Santa Fe ISD PD is the leading the investigation. Injured students and staff were transported to nearby Clear Lake Medical Center and Mainland Medical Center.
Pagourtzisis is currently in custody while another person of interest was initially detained. While it has been confirmed that the second person of interest is a student, it was not clear why they were being questioned. According to unconfirmed reports from some witnesses, the shooter yelled “Surprise!” as the shooting began. One witness, a Santa Fe student identified as Dustin, told ABC 13 that the shooter was wearing “big boots and a trench coat” and that the shooter was “bullied” and “didn’t have a lot of friends.” Dustin also indicated that Pagourtzis was “bullied by coaches”.
Following the shooting, the Santa Fe ISD confirmed that additional explosives were found in the school and in the “areas adjacent to the school.” Police are currently in the process of rendering them safe.
Photo from Pagourtzis’ since-deleted Facebook account
Screenshots of Pagourtzis’ now-deleted Facebook page show that he posted images of a t-shirt with “Born to Kill” written across it and a trench coat covered in pins he said represented “kamikaze tactics” and “bravery.”
The Santa Fe ISD released the following statement on Facebook about the tragic incident:
“This morning an incident occurred at the high school involving an active shooter. The situation is active but has been contained. There have been confirmed injuries. Details will be released as we receive information. Law enforcement will continue to secure the building and initiate all emergency management protocols to release and move students to another location. All other campuses are operating under their regular schedules.
Students from the high school are being transported by SFISD transportation to the Alamo Gym located at 13306 Highway 6. Parents may reunite with their students at this location.
This district will continue to keep you updated as information is available. Safety and communication are our top priorities.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 18, 2018
In the aftermath of the shooting, President Trump tweeted “School shooting in Texas. Early reports not looking good. God bless all!” He also spoke to the media, saying “We grieve for the terrible loss of life and send our support and love to everyone affected by this absolutely horrific attack. We’re with you in this tragic hour and we will be with you forever. 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.”
Santa Fe school district superintendent released the following statement:
“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. We are grieving the loss of members of our SFISD family.”
Santa Fe High School, located at 16000 Highway 6, is roughly 36 miles outside of Houston. According to the Texas Education Agency, the high school’s enrollment is approximately 1,400 students.
Interviewer: “Was there a part of you that was like, ‘This could not happen at my school?’”
Santa Fe High School student: “No. It’s been happening everywhere. I’ve always felt it would eventually happen here, too.”pic.twitter.com/MPxVScd3QE
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) May 18, 2018