Texas school shooting: Dimitrios 'Dimitri' Pagourtzis named as teenage suspect

Ten people were killed and another ten wounded 

Andrew Buncombe
New York
Friday 18 May 2018 15:14
Sheriff Ed Gonzalez Santa Fe High School shooting

The suspected shooter taken into custody by police in Santa Fe, Texas, after ten people were shot dead at a high school, has been identified as teenager Dimitrios “Dimitri” Pagourtzis, who apparently posted a picture of a T-shirt on social media bearing the words “Born to Kill”.

A sheriff says the 17-year-old suspect is being held on a capital murder charge.

Galveston County Sheriff Henry Trochesset says in a statement that Pagourtzis, is being held without bond in the Galveston County jail.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said information found on the teenager's computer suggested he wanted to not only kill others, but also wished to kill himself. "In the end he was too much of a coward, and gave himself him," he added.

The shooter is said to have stormed into an art class at his high school located 30 miles south of Houston sometime around 8am, shouted the word “surprise” and then opened fire. Mr Abbott said he was armed with a shotgun and a .38 revolver, both of which appeared to belong to the suspect's father.

Students said they ran in panic as they saw the wounded trying to get to safety. Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said that up to ten people, the major of them students, were killed in the latest in a serous of deadly shootings to rock US schools and colleges. “There is one person, a suspect, in custody and a second possible person of interest that is detained and being questioned,” Mr Gonzalez said at a news conference.

Mr Abbott later confirmed that the death toll had been confirmed as ten, and that another ten people had been injured.

Multiple media outlets identified the suspect as 17-year Mr Pagourtzis, a junior at the high school and a former member of the American football team.

A Facebook of Dimitrios Pagourtzis, who law enforcement officials have identified as the Texas school shooting suspect

Officials said they were following up reports of explosive devices at the school and off the campus and police said they were working to make them safe. Mr Abbott said one of these was a molotov cocktail and another was a CO2 device.

Mr Gonzalez said a police officer who confronted the suspect was inured and being treated for those wounds.

Santa Fe High School student is asked if she thought a shooting would happen in her school

Reports said Mr Pagourtzis also danced as part of a church group. A woman who answered the phone at a number associated with the Pagourtzis family declined to speak with the Associated Press. “Please don't call us. Give us our time right now, thank you,” the news agency quoted the person as saying.

The teenager played on the school's junior varsity football team and was a member of a dance squad with a local Greek Orthodox church. Father Stelios Sitaras of Assumption of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church in Galveston, Texas, said he met Mr Pagourtzis when the young man danced with a group as part of an annual festival in October.

He said the Pagourtzises are members of a nearby parish.

Mr Sitaras said he had never heard of the teen being in any sort of trouble. “He is a quiet boy,” the priest told the AP. “You would never think he would do anything like this.”

Rey Montemayor III, a senior who said he played football with Mr Pagourtzis confirmed to the Daily Beast the Facebook account to be that of the suspected shooter.

“I played football with him for three years,” Mr Montemayor said. “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.”

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