Accused Texas school gunman shuffles before judge in court appearance

From callous mass killer to shuffling coward: Texas school gunman, 17, refuses to look up and timidly answers judge in his first court appearance as cops hunt for MORE explosives he may have planted

  • Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, appeared in front of a Galveston, Texas judge for the first time on Friday evening
  • He is charged with capital murder and aggravated assault of a peace officer in school shooting massacre
  • Shooting took place between 7.30 and 7.45am in an art class at Santa Fe High School, which he attends
  • Law enforcement officials say as many as 10 people are dead and 10 are injured, including a police officer 
  • Pagourtzis was armed with his father’s legally owned shotgun and pistol and allegedly planted bombs 
  • Officials say suspect left explosive devices inside the school building and at another site off campus   
  • President Donald Trump and the first lady both tweeted about the shooting, as did VP Pence 
  • Pagourtzis plays JV football for Santa Fe High, and does traditional Greek dance through an Orthodox Church 
  • He would wear the same black trenchcoat festooned with Nazi, Communist and occult pins every day
  • Pagourtzis’s friend said he has interest in guns and war simulation games, but has never talked about killing
  • Texas Gov Greg Abbott says Pagourtzis originally intended to commit suicide, but instead surrendered 
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Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, is being held on a capital murder charge stemming from the shooting on Friday in Texas

The 17-year-old gunman accused of killing ten in a cold-blooded shooting rampage at his high school has appeared in court for the first time, as cops race to find potential hidden bombs.

Dimitrios Pagourtzis shuffled before a judge in Galveston, Texas on Friday, to hear his rights and the charges against him.

‘Yes sir,’ he replied softly two times in a row to confirm that he is a US citizen and would be requesting a court-appointed attorney.

Asked if he was out on bond on any other charges, Pagourtzis, who has no known criminal record, quietly replied ‘No sir’ to the judge.

Pagourtzis was denied bond. He is being held in solitary confinement in the Galveston County jail on charges of capital murder and aggravated assault of a peace officer. He did not enter a plea in his initial appearance.

The accused killer hung his head during the appearance and was clad in a drab green prison outfit, handcuffed and surrounded by deputies.

If convicted he would face the death penalty. 

According to court documents, Pagourtzis confessed to the shooting and also said he spared the students he liked so he could ‘have his story told’.

Pagourtzis was clad in a ‘Born to Kill’ T-shirt and black trenchcoat when he embarked on his rampage during first period at Santa Fe High School in Texas on Friday morning, yelling ‘Surprise!’ while brandishing his father’s shotgun and pistol, before opening fire and gunning down eight students and two teachers, police say.

He subsequently surrendered when confronted by police, who say he backed out of his original plan to commit suicide at the end of the massacre, but not before planting explosives around the school.

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Dimitrios Pagourtzis, seen in court via video link left and right above, appeared before a judge on Friday evening


Pagourtzis was denied bond and did not enter a plea in the appearance. He is being held in solitary confinement in the Galveston County jail on charges of capital murder and aggravated assault of a peace officer


The accused killer hung his head during the appearance and was clad in a drab green prison outfit and handcuffed


Pagourtzis signs documents requesting a state-appointed attorney in his first court appearance on Friday


Deputies lead the accused killer from the court appearance, where he verified his identity but did not enter a plea


Pagourtzis (circled far right) played JV football and did traditional Greek dance through his family’s Orthodox church


Father Antonios Pagourtzis (left) legally owned the two guns that son Dimitrios Pagourtzis (left) allegedly used in the shooting

On Friday afternoon, Texas Governor Greg Abbot said that cops had recovered ‘various kinds of explosives,’ including a ‘CO2 device’ and a Molotov cocktail in a home and a vehicle. He added there is ‘potential for explosive devices in other sites being investigated.’  

Authorities were searching a trailer home associated with the family about three miles from the school on Friday afternoon. 

‘Please don’t call us. Give us our time right now, thank you,’ said a woman reached by the Associated Press at a phone number associated with the Pagourtzis family.

The confirmed fatalities from the shooting so far include substitute teacher Ann Perkins, 64, art teacher Cynthia Tisdale and students Sabika Sheikh, Chris Stone, Kim Vaughan, Angelique Ramirez, Aaron Kyle McLeod, Christian Garcia and Shana Fisher.

As well as killing 10, the shooting spree also injured 10 more, including John Barnes, 49, a retired Houston police officer now working as the Santa Fe resource officer who was first to confront the shooter. The hero cop was shot in the arm and was hospitalized in critical condition.

Officials also questioned two other students who were detained after the shooting. At least one was held because of ‘suspicious reactions’ to the shooting, Abbott said.

They have not been named or charged, and investigators subsequently indicated that Pagourtzis had confessed that he acted alone. 




Substitute teacher Ann Perkins, 64, (left) and art teacher Cynthia Tisdale (right) were two of the victims of the massacre




Angelique Ramirez (left) and Kim Vaughan (right) were confirmed dead by friends and family on Friday evening




Santa Fe student Chris Stone (left) and Pakistani exchange student Sabika Sheikh (right) were also killed in the shooting


A woman who said she was Christian Garcia’s (pictured) cousin, revealed the 15-year-old had been shot dead




Relatives confirmed Aaron Kyle McLeod (left) has died. Shana Fisher’s (right) aunt announced her niece’s death and thanked people for their prayers


Hero cop: Santa Fe school resource officer John Barnes, 49, pictured above with his wife, is in surgery after engaging the shooter and suffering a gunshot wound to the arm that ruptured a blood vessel 

How the Santa Fe High School shooting unfolded

7.32am – Law enforcement responded to reports of an active shooter

8.02am – Dimitrios Pagourtzis surrenders to cops

8.05am – President Donald Trump tweets ‘School shooting in Texas. Early reports not looking good. God bless all!’

8.13am –  Santa Fe Independent School District confirms there was an active shooter and the district has initiated a lockdown

8.30am – Santa Fe High School is evacuated

9am – Assistant Principal confirms the shooter had been arrested

9.15am – Suspected explosive devices are found

10am – Law enforcement confirms eight people are dead

10.45am – Death toll updated to between eight and 10

11.18am –  Santa Fe ISD says explosives were found at the high school

Police are now trying to piece together what motive ‘quiet’ Pagourtzis had for carrying out the shooting.

Abbott said Pagourtzis wrote about planning the attack in journals on his computer and in his cellphone that police obtained.

‘Not only did he want to commit the shooting but he wanted to commit suicide after the shooting,’ Abbott said, adding that Pagourtzis told authorities he ‘didn’t have the courage’ to take his own life. 

On his now-deleted Facebook page, Pagourtzis shared a photo of a black T-shirt with the words ‘Born to Kill’ printed across the front on April 30. The suspect is believed to have been wearing the same shirt and combat-style boots when carrying out the massacre.

Other photos shared on Pagourtzis’s page the same day in April depicted a dark-colored trenchcoat festooned with various insignia, including the Nazi Iron Cross, which the teen wrote stood for ‘bravery.’

Additional patches on the garb included the rising sun, a Communist hammer and sickle pin and a depiction of the idol Baphomet, which Pagourtzis said symbolized ‘Evil.’

A week prior, a photo showing a handgun and a knife appeared on an Instagram account associated with Pagourtzis. The page has since been taken down.

Students at Santa Fe High told NBC News that Pagourtzis wore a trenchcoat to school every day.  

Dustin Severin, 17, told KPRC-TV he saw Pagourtzis in the hallway before the shooting wearing his ‘usual outfit.’

Severin says the teen has been picked on by football coaches ‘for smelling bad’,’ and he described Pagourtzis as someone who keeps to himself. 




Law enforcement early in Texas identified the suspected Santa Fe school shooter on Friday afternoon as Dimitrios ‘Dimitri’ Pagourtzis, 17 (left and right, wearing a pin for bisexual pride). He is now in custody 




Warning signs: On his now-deleted Facebook page, Pagourtzis on April 30 shared a photo of a black T-shirt with the words ‘Born to Kill’ printed across the front (left). Other photos shared on Pagourtzis’s page the same day in April depicted a dark-colored trenchcoat festooned with various insignia, including the Nazi Iron Cross (right) and Communist hammer and sickle


A photo showing a handgun and a knife appeared on an Instagram account associated with Pagourtzis in late April


Law enforcement officers are seen responding to Santa Fe High School following a shooting incident on Friday morning


Students are seen evacuating the Texas high school after shots rang out during first period on Friday morning

Tristen Patterson, 16, who introduced himself as a friend of Pagourtzis’, said he is interested in guns and war simulation video games, but that he has never about talked about killing people.

He also claimed that the high school junior did not show signs of bullying, but would sometimes enter the classroom ‘acting a little bit down or sad. A little bit sluggish.’  

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. 

Father Stelios Sitaras of Assumption of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church in Galveston, Texas, said he met 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.

Sitaras said he had never heard of the teen being in any sort of trouble.

‘He is a quiet boy,’ the priest said. ‘You would never think he would do anything like this.’

Michael Farina, 17, said he grew up with Pagourtzis and would play video games with him. He said Pagourtzis knew a lot about guns and remembered him asking which one he should get when he was older.

‘I’m kind of dumbfounded. We didn’t get any warning,’ Farina said.

He said a black trench coat and black boots was Pagourtzis’s regular outfit to school. ‘I guess you could say it was his kind of style,’ Farina said. He said he wasn’t someone who got into trouble and described him as a ‘run of the mill’ student. 


Santa Fe High School in Texas was on lockdown after a shooter stormed into a class and killed 10 people Friday morning 


State and federal law enforcement officers in tactical gear work outside a home in Alvin, Texas, as part of the investigation in the aftermath of Friday’s deadly school shooting 


A Pearland Police armored vehicle stands ready in front of Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe


Students are emotional as they gather by the Barnett Intermediate School where parents are gathering to pick up their children Friday


Police vehicles line the blocked-off street where the home of Dimitrios Pagourtzis in Alvin, Texas,

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    At a press conference this afternoon, Governor Abbott said the suspect used his father’s legally owned shotgun and .38-revolver, but it’s not clear whether the father knew his son had taken them.

    The suspect’s father Antonios Pagourtzis, 63, runs a ship repair and industrial cleaning firm. The elder Pagaourtzis was born in Greece and ‘liked’ NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesh on Facebook.

    According to the governor, explosive devices including a molotov cocktail had been found in Dimitri Pagourtzis’ home in Alvin and a vehicle as well as around the school and nearby.

    The governor says the suspect said he originally intended to commit suicide, as he had written in journals found on his computer and cellphone, but gave himself up and told authorities that he didn’t have the courage to take his own life.  

    Dr. Safi Madain at Clear Lake Regional Medical Center says six shooting victims have been treated and released. Madain says one patient remains in critical condition and the other is in fair condition. All appeared to be high school students with gunshot wounds.

    Other victims have been treated at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. Dr. David Marshall, chief nursing officer, says Santa Fe school resource officer John Barnes is in stable condition Friday afternoon.

    Marshall says a bullet hit Barnes’ arm, damaging the bone and a major blood vessel around his elbow. He says the blood vessel has been repaired, and that Barnes is expected to emerge from surgery within a few hours.

    Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo tweeted that Barnes, who is married, was sworn in as an officer in 1995 and retired from the force this past January.  


    Police officers in tactical gear move through the scene at Santa Fe High School where pipe bombs were found

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        Santa Fe High School junior Guadalupe Sanchez, 16, cries in the arms of her mother, Elida Sanchez, after reuniting with her at a meeting point at a nearby Alamo Gym


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        Police officers, sheriff’s deputies and ATF agents are on the scene of the active shooter situation


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          ‘I heard boom boom boom and my friend got shot’: Harrowing accounts from inside Texas school during deadly shooting massacre that killed up to ten students


          Santa Fe High School student Dakota Shrader described, through tears, how she fled from the gunman who opened fire and killed up to ten of her classmates on Friday

          Harrowing witness accounts have emerged from inside the Texas school where up to ten students died today after a shooter opened fire in an art class.

          Students described the initial confusion as the fire alarm went off at Santa Fe High School before shots rang out and students fled from the school buildings into nearby streets and woodland.

          ‘As soon as we heard the alarms, everybody just started leaving following the same procedure as [a] practice fire drill,’ student Dakota Shrader told CBS News through tears. 

          ‘And next thing you know, we just hear three gunshots, loud explosions, and all the teachers are telling us to run.

          ‘You could just hear “boom, boom, boom” so I just ran as fast as I could to the nearest forest to hide and call my mom.’

          The gunman, who has now been taken into custody, burst through the door of the first-period art class at around 8am and yelled ‘Surprise!’ before opening fire.


          Shrader is comforted by her mother Susan Davidson following the mass shooting at Santa Fe High School on Friday

          A student who saw him walking down the hallway managed to pull the fire alarm before running away.

          ‘My friend said he saw some kid walking down the hallway with a gun so he pulled the firearm and ran out,’ a senior called Tyler Turner told KTRK-TV.

          ‘The teachers told everybody to run after three shots were heard so we all took off and ran into the trees

          ‘Then we heard four more shots so jumped the fence into some dude’s house and ran into a car wash.


          Tyler Turner, a senior at Santa Fe High School, said one of his friends pulled the fire alarm when he first saw the shooter walking down a corridor with a gun

          ‘While we were sitting down trying to figure out what had just happened I saw a girl who had been shot in the kneecap.’

          ‘I heard so many people saying there were gunshots and that people were dead,’ fellow student Megan Hunter added.

          Another student told KTRK in a telephone interview that the 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.

          Another student, called Paige, offered up a different perspective on today’s shooting.

          When asked by local network ABC13 if she was surprised at the massacre, the girl replied, ‘No, I wasn’t, it’s been happening everywhere and I’ve always felt eventually it would happen here too.’

           

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            Police responded to the school on State Highway 6 near Morning Glory Drive in Santa Fe just before 8am after getting reports of shots fired. 

            Witnesses described how the unnamed gunman burst through the door of a first-period art class and yelled ‘Surprise!’ before opening fire on his classmates. 

            Then a fire alarm was pulled somewhere in the building, sending students running into the hallway.  

            ‘As soon as the alarms went off, everybody just started running outside,’ sophomore Dakota Shrader told reporters, ‘and next thing you know everybody looks, and you hear boom, boom, boom, and I just ran as fast as I could to the nearest floor so I could hide, and I called my mom.’ 

            Another student told ABC13  in an earlier phone interview that the suspect came into her first-period art class and started shooting at 7.45am. 

            The student says 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.




            President Trump addressed the shooting in Texas as he delivered remarks during the Prison Reform Summit at the White House in Washington


            Honoring the dead: The flag flies at half-staff over the White House in honor of those who were killed and wounded in Santa Fe, Texas, Friday morning

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              The student said she didn’t 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.

              Santa Fe Police, Galveston County Sheriff’s Office and ATF agents responded to the school. Medical helicopters were pictured in the parking lot, along with multiple ambulances.

              President Donald Trump addressed the latest school shooting in a tweet, which said in part: ‘Early reports not looking good. God bless all!’

              First lady Melania Trump, who is still recovering from a recent surgery, also tweeted, saying: ‘my heart goes out to Santa Fe and all of Texas today.’ 

              Trump again weighed in on the massacre in Texas as he delivered remarks during the Prison Reform Summit at the White House, expressing his ‘sadness and heartbreak’ and saying that his administration is closely monitoring the situation.

              ‘This has been going on too long in our country – too many years, too many decades now,’ he went on to say. ‘We grieve for the terrible loss of life and send our support and love to everyone affected by this absolutely horrific attack to the students, families, teachers and personnel at Santa Fe High. 

              ‘We’re with you in this tragic hour and we will be with you forever. My administration is determined to do everything in our power to protect our students, secure our schools, and to keep weapons out of the hands of those who pose a threat to themselves and to others.

              ‘Everyone must work together at every level of government to keep our children safe. May God heal the injured, and may God comfort the wounded, and may God be with the victims and with the victims’ families. Very sad day. Very, very sad.’ 

              David Hogg, the outspoken survivor of the February 14 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead, lashed out on Twitter at politicians for failing to do anything to rein in gun violence in the US.   



              David Hogg, the Parkland, Florida shooting survivor, addressed this latest massacre in this strongly-worded tweet Friday 


              Santa Fe High School student Dakota Shrader is comforted by her mother Susan Davidson




              Students and staff embraced and cried after Friday’s deadly shooting in Santa Fe, Texas


              In this image taken from video a police officer walks near school buses


              School staff members sit in a school bus to be transported to another school Friday


              Students are being transported to another location to reunite with their parents

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                News chopper footage showed a small crowd of students emptying their backpacks for inspection on the grass. 

                Students were transported to Alamo Gym to reunite with their parents.

                Santa Fe High School has more than 1,400 students in grades 9-12. The senior class was scheduled to graduate on Sunday. 

                In late February, the school was briefly put on lockdown over ‘popping sounds’  thought to be gunshots that were heard outside. Police arrived on campus to investigate but no threat was found.

                CNN reported that Santa Fe is the 22nd school shooting so far this year, and the deadliest one since Parkland.  

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