The nation came to grips with yet another fatal school shooting on Friday, the deadliest school shooting in the U.S. since the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in February. Authorities said on Friday afternoon that 10 people were killed — nine students and one teacher — after an armed assailant burst into Santa Fe High School at the beginning of the school day and opened fire. The school was placed on lockdown and police arrested a suspect shortly after the rampage. Ten others were wounded in the attack.
Officials have identified the suspected shooter as Dimitrios Pagourtzis, a 17-year-old student at Sante Fe High School. He used two firearms during the slaughter, Texas Governor Greg Abbott told reporters at a press conference: a shotgun and a revolver. Both guns belonged to Pagourtzis’ father, who possessed them legally. Pagourtzis was reportedly a player on the school’s junior varsity football team and part of a dance squad at a the Greek Orthodox church he attends. Abbott also told reporters that Pagourtzis posted a photo on his Facebook page in recent weeks of a black T-Shirt with the words “Born to kill” printed across the front, and also kept a journal that detailed plans for an attack.
Abbot said the 17-year-old shooting suspect told authorities he planned to kill himself, but gave up as officers closed in and he realized he didn’t have the courage to go through with committing suicide. Galveston County Sheriff Henry Trochesset said Pagourtzis is being held on capital murder charges. Authorities released his mug shot Friday afternoon.
As the country was plunged into grief once again, video clips of the cries of young girls who were in the school during the massacre and survived echoed across social media.
One young Sante Fe High School student, who has been identified as Paige Curry, spoke in a TV clip that surfaced on Twitter and went viral about growing up in a culture where school shootings have become all too common. She described the horrifying scene and speaking to her mother over a cellphone. When KTRK reporter Foti Kallergis asked whether a part of her thought, “This isn’t real, this would not happen in my school,” the girl gave a grim response: “No, there wasn’t,” she said. “Um … it’s been happening everywhere. I’ve always kind of felt it was eventually going to happen here, too. I wasn’t surprised, I was just scared.” Below, watch two versions of the interview, and a separate interview with Curry, 17, in which she goes into further detail about what she witnessed during the shooting.
— Babe Ruthless ⚾️ (@ChargeTheMoundx) May 18, 2018
Heartbreaking moment as Santa Fe High School student is asked if she thought a shooting 'would not happen' at her school:
— ABC News (@ABC) May 18, 2018
Through tears, Dakota Shrader, another student at Sante Fe High School who made it out alive, told reporters, “I shouldn’t be going through this. It’s my school.” Shrader’s mother, also emotional, stood behind her daughter as she continued, repeating what has been an all-too-familiar refrain from high school students lately. “This is my daily life and I shouldn’t have to feel like that. I feel scared to even go back.” Watch below.
— WJZ | CBS Baltimore (@wjz) May 18, 2018