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Texas School Shooter Killed 10, Spared Some So They Could Tell His Story

Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, walked into Santa Fe High School on Friday armed with guns and explosives and opened fire at students. He has been charged with capital murder and aggravated assault of a police officer.

PTI

Updated:May 19, 2018, 10:17 PM IST
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Texas School Shooter Killed 10, Spared Some So They Could Tell His Story
This photo provided by the Galveston County Sheriff's Office shows Dimitrios Pagourtzis, who law enforcement officials took into custody Friday, May 18, 2018, and identified as the suspect in the deadly school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas, near Houston. AP/PTI(AP5_19_2018_000091B)
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Houston: A student who killed 10 people, including a Pakistani exchange student, at a school in the US state of Texas told investigators that he had spared certain students so he could have his story told.

Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, walked into Santa Fe High School on Friday armed with guns and explosives and opened fire at students. He has been charged with capital murder and aggravated assault of a police officer.

Dazed and bruised, the community is still confused about the happenings after the shooting. They are heart broken and mourning the deaths of innocent lives lost in the shooting and preparing for mass funerals soon.

A Pakistani exchange student, Sabika Sheikh is among the 8 students and two teachers killed.

Cynthia Tisdale, a substitute teacher in her 60s, also died in the shooting. They say her three children and eight grandchildren were her passion. Another Substitute teacher Ann Perkins was among those who died. According to those who knew her, she was a beloved teacher and was well-loved in the community. Several students tweeted, calling her the "sweetest lady" and a hero.

One of the most critically injured victims was Santa Fe ISD police officer John Barnes, who was shot when he confronted Pagourtzis. Officer Barnes, 47, remains in critical condition.

The suspect told investigators that he had spared certain students so he could have his story told, the authorities said.

A Galveston County Sheriff's Office investigator wrote in an affidavit that Dimitrios Pagourtzis had waved his right to remain silent and had given a statement admitting to shooting multiple people. The investigator, identified only as J. Roy, also wrote that Mr. Pagourtzis had said that he did not shoot students he did like so he could have his story told.

President Donald Trump and Governor Greg Abbott ordered flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of the victims.

"We grieve for the terrible loss of life, and send our support and love to everyone affected by this horrible attack in Texas. To the students, families, teachers and personnel at Santa Fe High School we are with you in this tragic hour, and we will be with you forever," President Trump said in a tweet.

Texas Governor Abbott said at a news conference that "unlike Parkland, unlike Sutherland Springs, there were not those types of warning signs." He was referring to the Feb. 14 school shooting in Florida and one in November inside a church in a town near San Antonio.

In addition to Pagourtzis, two others were detained, said Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez. It is not clear if they are connected to the shooting.

There were also disturbing hints on his social media pages, including photos with a gun and knife, a "Born to Kill" t-shirt and a coat with a Nazi medallion and other symbols of evil and rebellion.

Police say Pagourtzis also planted explosive devices in and around the school, which is located about 30 miles southeast of Houston. They warned there might be other devices out there and Santa Fe residents should stay alert. However, a motive wasn't immediately clear for the nation's deadliest attack since February.

Pagourtzis was held without bond in the Galveston County Jail on charges of capital murder and assault of a peace officer, said the county sheriff, Henry Trochesset.

Court documents show Pagourtzis hid a shotgun and .38-caliber revolver under a trench coat, walked into the school around 7:30 a.m. and began firing.

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| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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