Texas school shooting – families’ grief after two teachers and eight students massacred by teen gunman in Santa Fe

Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, shouted "surprise" before bursting into a classroom armed with his dad's shotgun and pistol.

He gave himself up to cops after a gunfight – but had intended on killing himself before deciding he could not go through with it, said police in Santa Fe, Texas.

He is being held on charges of murder and aggravated assault – and it has emerged he wrote about his sinister plans online, on his phone and in journals.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said ten people were killed and ten others were wounded in the early morning rampage at Santa Fe High School.

Explosive devices, including a Molotov cocktail, have also been found in the suspected gunman's home and a vehicle, as well as around the school.

Among the victims were classmates Angelique Ramirez, Chris Stone, Kim Vaughan, Aaron Kyle McLeod, Christian Garcia, Shana Fisher and Pakistani exchange student Sabika Sheikh.

The Pakistani Embassy in Washington DC confirmed Sabika's identity.

And the manager of her exchange programme, Megan Lysaght, said: "It is with great sadness in my heart that I need to inform you that one of our YES students, Sabika Sheikh of Pakistan, was killed today."

What we know so far:

  • Student Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, walked into an art classroom in Santa Fe High School, in Texas, opened fire as he shouted "surprise"
  • He was reportedly armed with a sawn off shotgun and a pistol which belonged to his father
  • The suspect has been arrested after a shootout with police
  • Student said he "always walked around in a trench coat" and bragged about plans to shoot up the school on his computer and in journals
  • Two teachers and classmates have been named among the victims, with at least ten people dead
  • A teacher, who is an ex-Marine, pulled the fire alarm at around 7.45am in effort to warn of active shooter
  • President Trump tweeted: “School shooting in Texas. Early reports not looking good. God bless all!”

Family confirmed that Angelique Ramirez was murdered in the shooting, along with teen classmate Shana Fisher.

Two other victims have been named as substitute teacher Ann Perkins and art teacher Cynthia Tisdale.

Perkins was described by one of her students as "wonderful" and "amazing".

Family of schoolboy Chris Stone launched a frantic search for him in the aftermath of the shooting, but later took to Facebook to confirm he had been killed.

His cousin Michaelle Shelby Ellerd wrote: "My heart is broken for my family.

"Chris was such an amazing, sweet and funny boy. Please hold your babies close."

Heartbroken relatives of teacher Cynthia Tisdale confirmed she was among the dead.

The mum-of-three, who also had eight grandchildren, was married to her husband for more than 40 years.

Her niece Leia Olinde said: "I've never met a woman who loved her family so much.”

While substitute teacher Ann Perkins has also been named among the victims.

Student Kim Vaughan was confirmed dead by her mother's friend, Jennifer Morey Ryden, who wrote on Facebook: "She has been found. She is now in heaven."

Aaron Kyle McLeod was confirmed dead by family members who spoke to ABC news.

And the devastated cousin of Christian Garcia said he was shot dead, tweeting: "RIP baby boy, I love you."

Governor Abbott said of the suspect: "He gave himself up and admitted at the time he didn’t have the courage to commit suicide, that he wanted to take his own life earlier."

School district police officer John Barnes, 49, who was shot in the arm, is among the wounded.

Amazingly, classmate Rome Shubert, 16, was shot in the back of the head and the bullet travelled through his skull perilously close to his brain – but he survived needing only bandages.

He told CNN: "I just feel lucky to be here.

"I just wish this didn't happen. This shouldn't happen to anybody in that school."

He later tweeted: "Today I was shot in the back of the head but i am completely okay and stable."

Cops confirmed they have recovered "explosive devices" but not how many.

Pagourtzis is believed to play on the school's junior varsity football team and is a member of a dance squad with a local Greek Orthodox church.

The shotgun and pistol both belonged to Pagourtzis' father but it is not clear if he knew his son had taken them.

The killer burst into his art class and opened fire while wearing a Born to Kill t-shirt.

Governor Abbott also added that "one or two" other people of interest were being interviewed.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said: "There is one person, a suspect, in custody and a second possible person of interest that is detained and being questioned."

US news outlets also reported how cops cordoned off the home of the shooter.

Santa Fe Police Chief Jeff Powell said: "There have been explosive devices found inside the high school, and in the surrounding areas adjacent to the high school."

A witness told CNN that the shooter entered an art class and opened fire hitting one girl in the leg.

The teen suspect shot three people inside the classroom prompting other students to flee before the gunman opened fire in other parts of the campus, reports local media.

One witness reportedly said the suspect was armed with a pistol and a shotgun and "always walked around in a trench coat".

At least one police officer was wounded during the gun fight with the youngster, according to reports.

Footage from a CBS news helicopter shows dozens of teens being evacuated on the grass outside the school.

A student said that a teacher, who is a former US marine, pulled the fire alarm to alert others, reports KTRK.

Student Leila Butler told ABC13 that the alarms sounded at around 7.45am local time prompting teenagers to flee their classrooms.

She told the news outlet that she heard gun shots being fired and is currently sheltering with teachers and fellow students near the campus.

Speaking to CNN, student Angelica Martinez, 14, said: "We were all standing (outside), but not even five minutes later, we started hearing gunshots.

"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 she heard about four shots.

President Donald Trump, speaking at a prison reform event at the White House, described the attack as "absolutely horrific".

He said: "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."

Santa Fe, which is 30 miles outside of Houston, has a population of around 13,000 while the school has about 1,400 students, according to GreatSchool.org.

The death toll makes events in Santa Fe the deadliest school shooting since the one in February at Parkland, Florida when 17 people were killed.


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