Texas school shooting suspect identified by law enforcement officials
At least 10 people were killed and 10 people were wounded at a school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas. Witnesses say that at around 7:30AM, the gunman stormed into an art class, yelled "Surprise!" and opened fire. They described him as wearing combat boots, a long coat and a "Born To Kill" shirt.
Authorities have identified the shooting suspect as 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis, a junior at the high school. Law enforcement has taken him into custody and booked him at Galveston County Jail. He is being held on a capital murder charge, without bond. Additional charges may follow.
The shooter was reportedly armed with a shotgun and a .38 revolver. At a press conference, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said that those weapons were legally owned by the suspect's father. Sheriff Trochesset said the suspect left explosive devices inside the school, and in the surrounding area. These explosive devices reportedly included pipe bombs, pressure cookers, a molotov cocktail and a CO2 device.
Gov. Abbot said information on Pagourtzis' computer suggested that he wanted to kill others, and then kill himself. However, in the end, "he gave himself up and admitted at the time he didn't have the courage to commit the suicide."
Pagourtzis' Facebook page has been deleted, but some images were pulled before it was taken down. In his bio, the suspect appeared to plug his YouTube channel, writing, "YouTube is Comma Kazi. The one with the kamikaze pilot. I've got a few playlists there." On April 30, he shared a photo of a black T-shirt, with the words "BORN TO KILL" emblazoned across the front. Witnesses say he wore this shirt during the shooting.
Pagourtzis also uploaded a photo of long dark trench coat, decorated with various Nazi, communist and fascist symbols. On a post, he explained the symbols, writing, "Hammer and Sickle = Rebellion, Rising Sun = Kamikaze Tactics, [Nazi] Iron Cross = Bravery, Baphomet = Evil, Cthulu=Power." Students told NBC News that he wore a trench coat every day, even when the temperature was around ninety degrees, like on the day of the shooting.
Pagourtzis plays for the junior varsity football team and is a member of the dance squad at a Greek Orthodox church. "He is a quiet boy,"Father Stelios Sitaras told the Associated Press. "You would never think he would do anything like this." "I played football with [Pagourtzis] for three years,”said Rey Montemayor III, a senior student. "People on the news said he was bullied a lot. I never seen him being bullied. I never bullied him. He was cool to me. I lifted with him a couple of times."
The victims have not been identified as of this writing. Gov. Abbott called the shooting "one of the most heinous attacks that we’ve ever seen in the history of Texas schools. It’s impossible to describe the magnitude of the evil of someone who would attack innocent children in a school."