FBI takes lead in Texas high school shooting investigation

World Today

The FBI is now leading the investigation into the mass shooting at a high school in Santa Fe, Texas that left 10 dead and more than a dozen others wounded. Santa Fe officials offered little new information into the investigation on Saturday. However, more details about the student suspect charged in the killing spree have been revealed.

CGTN’s Sean Callebs has an update from Texas.

The chaos is still deeply etched in their minds and in their hearts.

“I was thinking I was terrified,” said Abel San Miguel, a student at Santa Fe High School. “Because I didn’t know if I was going to make it out, that’s what was rushing through my head the whole time.”

Authorities say 17-year-old student, Dimitrios Pagourtzis is the face of terror. Using his father’s shotgun and .38-caliber pistol, police say Pagourtzis shot and killed 10-people and wounded 13 others at the very school he attended in southeast Texas.

Media reports quote students who say the suspect spared people he liked, yet took deadly aim at those he didn’t.  Witnesses say Pagourtzis was wearing a black trench coat and black boots as here stormed the school.

Some 1,400 students attend classes at Santa Fe High, which joins the long list of mass shootings in the United States.

“We started immediately barricading the door as soon as we got in the classroom,” student Damon Rabon said. “And me and a couple of other fellow classmates were trying to calm the girls down. They were just bawling, you know, like it was real – like it was happening to our school.”

People across the U.S. turned out for what was known as the March for Life in late March, to demand lawmakers take action on gun control -and to limit access to firearms.  But Congressman Randy Weber, whose district includes Santa Fe, was not optimistic anything would change.

“Now is not the time,” he said. “When you have a tragedy like this, as I said earlier, we’re gonna come together for these families. They still have people to bury; they still have funerals to go through. We’ll get back to DC. There will be a time for this, but right now is the time for grieving.”

So, if not now, when is the time for lawmakers to start a healthy debate about gun control in an effort to keep weapons out of the hands of would-be killers?

“We’ve got some changes to make,” said Weber. “I am not going over them here. We will discuss those, whether it is hardening targets, whether it is metal detectors, whether it is more school resource officers…whatever it is, these are things we have to come together and discuss.”

The FBI is leading the investigation and isn’t saying anything about the case. The community is demanding answers. Pagourtzis is charged with capital murder and aggravated assault of a peace officer- two others have been interviewed as “people of interest” – but at this point, no charges have been filed against them.

Santa Fe High seniors are scheduled to graduate this coming weekend. But for now, the campus remains ringed with crime scene tape. The school itself will remain closed through at least Tuesday.