SANTA FE, Texas (CBS/AP) — As many as 10 people were killed after at least one gunman went on a shooting rampage at a Texas high school on Friday morning.
The deadly shooting happened at Santa Fe High School around 8 a.m. local time. CBS News’ law enforcement sources identified the gunman as 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis.
Pagourtzis has been charged with capital murder in the school shooting. He was denied bond at a hearing earlier Friday.
A leader at a program for foreign exchange students and the Pakistani Embassy in Washington, D.C., say a Pakistani girl is among those killed in the Texas high school shooting.
Megan Lysaght, manager of the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange & Study Abroad program, sent a letter to other students in the program confirming that Sabika Sheikh was killed in the shooting at Santa Fe High School.
The letter says the program is devastated by Sabika’s loss and would be holding a moment of silence for her.
Lysaght declined further comment when contacted by The Associated Press and referred calls to a State Department spokesman.
The Pakistan Embassy in Washington identified Sabika as a victim of the shooting on Twitter and wrote that “our thoughts and prayers are with Sabika’s family and friends.”
Family members say a substitute teacher whose passion was her children and grandchildren is among the victims of the shooting at a Texas high school.
Leia Olinde says authorities confirmed to her family that her aunt, Cynthia Tisdale, was killed in Friday morning’s shooting at Santa Fe High School.
She says Tisdale, who was in her 60s, was like a mother to her and helped her shop for wedding dresses last year.
Olinde says Tisdale was married to her husband for close to 40 years and had three children and eight grandchildren. She says she “never met a woman who loved her family so much.”
Olinde’s fiance, Eric Sanders, says “words don’t explain her lust for life and the joy she got from helping people.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said, “I ask every parent out there, wherever they may be, to hold your children close tonight and let them know how much you love them.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says the school shooting suspect used a shotgun and .38-revolver he obtained from his father.
At a news conference on Friday, Abbott said both weapons were owned legally by the suspect’s father. But it’s not clear whether the father knew his son had taken them.
Abbott called Friday’s shooting “one of the most heinous attacks that we’ve ever seen in the history of Texas schools.”
He says explosive devices including a molotov cocktail that had been found in the suspected shooter’s home and a vehicle as well as around the school and nearby.
The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee says he expects the Justice Department to pursue additional charges against the suspected gunman at a Texas high school.
Texas Rep. Michael McCaul told The Associated Press on Friday that federal prosecutors are looking into possible weapons of mass destruction charges against 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis.
The Santa Fe High School student was in custody on murder charges and made his initial court appearance Friday evening by video link from the Galveston County Jail. He’s accused of killing 10 people, most of them fellow students. Authorities say he also had explosive devices that were found in the school and nearby.
McCaul is a former federal prosecutor. He thinks the Justice Department “wants to ramp this up as much as they can to send a message of deterrence.”
The governor says the suspect said he originally intended to commit suicide but gave himself up and told authorities that he didn’t have the courage to take his own life.
Abbott said there are “one or two” other people of interest being interviewed about the shooting.
Pagourtzis plays on the Santa Fe High School junior varsity football team, and is a member of a dance squad with a local Greek Orthodox church.
Pagourtzis’ social media pages showed images of guns. He recently posted a photo wearing a t-shirt reading “Born to Kill” and there were also photos of a long green jacket with Nazi regalia, KHOU reports.
The district confirmed an unspecified number of injuries but did not release details. A school police officer was shot, officials said, but there was no immediate word on his condition.
One hospital reported treating eight wounded patients. Six were treated and released. One was listed in critical condition, and another in fair condition.
Michael Farina, 17, said he was on the other side of campus when the shooting began and thought it was a fire drill. He was holding a door open for special education students in wheelchairs when a principal came bounding down the hall and telling everyone to run. Another teacher yelled out, “It is real.”
Students were led to take cover behind a car shop across the street from the school. Some still did not feel safe and began jumping the fence behind the shop to run even farther away, Farina said.
“I debated doing that myself,” he said.
One student told Houston television station KTRK in a telephone interview that a gunman came into her first-period art class and started shooting. The student said she saw one girl with blood on her leg as the class evacuated the room.
“We thought it was a fire drill at first but really, the teacher said, ‘Start running,'” the student told the television station.
The student said she did not get a good look at the shooter because she was running away. She said students escaped through a door at the back of the classroom.
Student Damon Rabon told CBS News he saw a someone come out of the classroom with a black trench coat and a sawed-off shotgun.
“The teacher actually ran and pulled the fire alarm because we had no service to call 911 to let anyone know there was a shooter because our wing is completely almost separate from the rest of the school,” said Rabon.
Authorities did not immediately confirm that report.
Vice President Mike Pence said he and President Donald Trump were briefed on the shooting. Pence said the students, families, teachers and all those affected should know: “‘We’re with you. You’re in our prayers and I know you are in the prayers of the American people.”
Trump added in a tweet that early reports were “not looking good. God bless all!”
First lady Melania Trump also weighed in on Twitter, saying her “heart goes out to Santa Fe and all of Texas today.”
Friday’s shooting was the nation’s deadliest school shooting since the February attack in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 people and re-energized the gun-control movement after surviving teens launched a campaign for reform.
“My heart is so heavy for the students of Santa Fe High School. It’s an all too familiar feeling no one should have to experience. I am so sorry this epidemic touched your town — Parkland will stand with you now and forever,” Marjory Stoneman Douglas student Jaclyn Corin said in a tweet.
In the aftermath of the assault on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, survivors pulled all-nighters, petitioned city councils and state lawmakers, and organized protests in a grass-roots movement.
Within weeks, state lawmakers adopted changes, including new weapons restrictions. The move cemented the gun-friendly state’s break with the National Rifle Association. The NRA fought back with a lawsuit.
In late March, the teens spearheaded one of the largest student protest marches since Vietnam in Washington and inspired hundreds of other marches from California to Japan.
The calls for tighter gun controls that have swelled since the February mass shooting at a Florida high school have barely registered in gun-loving Texas — at least to this point.
Texas has some of the most permissive gun laws in the U.S. and just hosted the NRA’s annual conference earlier this month. In the run-up to March primaries, gun control was not a main issue with candidates of either party. Republicans did not soften their views on guns, and Democrats campaigned on a range of issues instead of zeroing in on gun violence.
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