Police responded to reports of shots fired at Sante Fe High School near Houston, Texas on Friday morning. Law enforcement officials have confirmed that 10 people are dead: nine were students and one was a teacher. Ten more are injured. Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez told reporters that two students have been placed in custody, one being the suspected shooter and another a person of interest.
Police have identified the shooter as 17-year-old Dimitros Pagourtzis. He has been charged with capital murder and aggravated assault of a police officer.
Chief Walter Braun of Santa Fe Independent School District Police confirmed that explosives were found both on and near the school campus. CNN reports that pipe bombs and pressure cookers were found at the school. Multiple reporters have also noted that police are investigating a mobile home on Highway 6, about two miles from the school, for possible explosives.
As a result, Santa Fe police are also asking residents to remain vigilant and call 911 if they see anything suspicious.
Texas Governor Greg Abott traveled to Santa Fe to give a press conference on Friday afternoon. He confirmed that the shooter used two guns, which we both legally owned by his father.
One eyewitness said a gunman entered a classroom and began shooting with what looked like a shotgun. The witness saw at least one girl shot in the leg. According to information from the students who were at the school, someone pulled a fire alarm. "So, it was just a normal-like class day. We all were doing our work in first period. And then all of a sudden like it's a fire drill," 14-year-old junior Angelica Martinez told CNN. "So we followed the fire drill procedures. And then we went outside. Like we were all standing there, but not even five minutes later, we all start hearing gunshots." Teachers told them to "stay put" but the students began "running away." Rekha Muddaraj, a reporter at local news station KHOU 11, tweeted that a fire alarm was pulled by the shooter, according to two senior students, although other students reported that a substitute teacher pulled the alarm.
The scene at Santa Fe High School is now clear, and students are being reunited with their families and giving media interviews.
Santa Fe High School student tells CNN shooting happened after what seemed like a fire drill: "It was just a normal like class day.... then we all start hearing gunshots. And then everybody starts running." pic.twitter.com/wRNbUryZPR
— Brian Ries (@moneyries) May 18, 2018
Today sadly marks the 22nd U.S. school shooting in 2018 and comes exactly one week after police responded to reports of shots fired at Highland High School in Palmdale, California, where one person was shot and the suspect taken into custody on the same day. CNN reports that there has been, on average, one school shooting per week in 2018 in the U.S. The February 14 shooting in Parkland, Florida at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in which one gunman killed 17 people, remains the deadliest of the year.