Family of Texas school shooting suspect Dimitrios Pagourtzis say 'killer' is 'incompatible with the boy we love'
Dmitrios Pagourtzis,17, is accused of gunning down ten classmates after bursting into a lesson with a shotgun as he shouted "surprise!"
He was arrested in Santa Fe, Texas, after allegedly giving himself up to cops following a short gunfight.
Local cops claimed that he had intended on killing himself before deciding he could not go through with it.
A statement released by his family read: "We are as shocked and confused as anyone else by these events that occurred.
"We are gratified by the public comments made by other Santa Fe High School students that show Dimitri as we know him: a smart, quiet, sweet boy.
What we know so far:
- Student Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, walked into an art classroom in Santa Fe High School, in Texas, opened fire as he shouted "surprise"
- He was reportedly armed with a sawn off shotgun and a pistol which belonged to his father
- The suspect has been arrested after a shootout with police
- Student said he "always walked around in a trench coat" and bragged about plans to shoot up the school on his computer and in journals
- Two teachers and classmates have been named among the victims, with at least ten people dead
- A teacher, who is an ex-Marine, pulled the fire alarm at around 7.45am in effort to warn of active shooter
- President Trump tweeted: “School shooting in Texas. Early reports not looking good. God bless all!”
"While we remain mostly in the dark about the specifics of yesterday's tragedy, what we have learned from media reports seems incompatible with the boy we love."
It comes after CCTV footage of him timidly shuffling and looking down at his feet as he is read his rights by a judge in Galveston, Texas.
Asked if he is a US citizen and if he wanted to request a court-appointed lawyer, the alleged shooter mumbles quietly: “Yes sir.”
He then quietly says “no sir” when asked if he was out on bond for any other offences.
Pagourtzis has been charged with capital murder and is being held in solitary confinement at Galveston County jail.
He could face the death penalty if convicted.
Two teachers and eight students were killed in the early morning rampage at Santa Fe High School, with ten others wounded.
The teen also had a picture of this jacket which had what appears to be a German Iron Cross medal on itExplosive devices, including a Molotov cocktail, have also been found in the suspected gunman's home and a vehicle, as well as around the school.
Among the victims were classmates Angelique Ramirez, Chris Stone, Kim Vaughan, Aaron Kyle McLeod, Christian Garcia, Shana Fisher and Pakistani exchange student Sabika Sheikh.
Governor Abbott said of the suspect: "He gave himself up and admitted at the time he didn’t have the courage to commit suicide, that he wanted to take his own life earlier."
School district police officer John Barnes, 49, who was shot in the arm, is among the wounded.
Amazingly, classmate Rome Shubert, 16, was shot in the back of the head and the bullet travelled through his skull perilously close to his brain – but he survived needing only bandages.
He told CNN: "I just feel lucky to be here.
"I just wish this didn't happen. This shouldn't happen to anybody in that school."
He later tweeted: "Today I was shot in the back of the head but I am completely okay and stable."
Cops confirmed they have recovered "explosive devices" but not how many.
Santa Fe Police Chief Jeff Powell said: "There have been explosive devices found inside the high school, and in the surrounding areas adjacent to the high school."
Pagourtzis is believed to play on the school's junior varsity football team and is a member of a dance squad with a local Greek Orthodox church.
The shotgun and pistol used both belonged to Pagourtzis' father but it is not clear if he knew his son had taken them.
The killer allegedly burst into a classroom and opened fire while wearing a Born to Kill t-shirt.
Governor Abbott also added that "one or two" other people of interest were being interviewed.
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said: "There is one person, a suspect, in custody and a second possible person of interest that is detained and being questioned."
US news outlets also reported how cops cordoned off the home of the suspect.
A witness told CNN that the shooter entered an art class and opened fire hitting one girl in the leg.
The teen suspect shot three people inside the classroom prompting other students to flee before the gunman opened fire in other parts of the campus, reports local media.
One witness reportedly said the suspect was armed with a pistol and a shotgun and "always walked around in a trench coat".
Source: Read Full Article