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Ten killed in Texas school shooting after attacker 'walks into art class and opens fire'

发稿时间:2018-05-21 来源: eurtoday

 

Police custody shot of Dimitrios Pagourtzis - Galveston County Sheriff's Office

At least 10 people have been killed at a school in Santa Fe in Texas after an armed student burst into an art class and opened fire.

Nearly all of those killed were fellow pupils in what is believed to be the 22nd school shooting of the year in the US.

The suspect, Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, appeared by video link in court on Friday evening when he was denied bail. He was shackled and wore a green jumpsuit, speaking in a quiet voice as he answered questions.

A second student has also been detained.

According to a local news outlet, witnesses said the gunman wore a "Born to Kill" T-shirt, a trench coat - despite the sweltering weather - and army boots as he stormed into the classroom.

Armed with a shotgun and a .38 pistol, the gunman shouted "Surprise" before opening fire on the terrified students.

Elsewhere pupils, hearing the fire alarm, thought they were participating in a safety drill before being told to run for their lives.

Police custody shot of Dimitrios Pagourtzis - Credit:  Galveston County Sheriff's Office
Police custody shot of Dimitrios Pagourtzis Credit:  Galveston County Sheriff's Office

One of the students, Angelica Martinez, 14, told CNN, “We were all standing, but not even five minutes later, we started hearing gunshots. 

"And then everybody starts running. The teachers were telling us to stay put, but we’re all just running away.” 

A substitute teacher and a Pakistani exchange student were among the 10 people killed.  Ann Perkins was a 64-year-old teacher known to many as "Grandma Perkins” while Sabika Sheikh was a student with the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange & Study Abroad program.

Teacher Cynthia Tisdale was also killed in the shooting as were seven teenage students who were attending the the Texas school. 

The weapons used in the shooting were registered to Pagourtzis’s father.

Emergency Personnel rush to the scene
Emergency Personnel rush to the scene

Police later found an array of explosive devices including a Motolov cocktail, Greg Abbott, the Texas governor, told a press conference.

He added that police had found information on Pagourtzis’s computer and mobile phone indicating that the attack had been planned.

"The shooter has information contained in journals, on his computer and his cell phone that he said not only did he want to commit the shooting, but he wanted to commit suicide after the shooting," Mr Abbott added.

"As you probably know, he gave himself up and admitted at the time that he didn't have the courage to commit the suicide."

Pupils at the 1,400 pupil school 30 miles south of Houston described Pagourtzis as a quiet student who kept himself to himself.

But his social media presence was somewhat different. His Facebook page, which has since been deleted, showed him wearing a “Born to Kill” t-shirt and an Instagram posting featured a handgun and knife.

Court documents have claimed that Pagourtzis picked his victims, choosing not to shoot students he liked. 

Reacting to the shooting Donald Trump said: “This has been going on for too long in our country, too many years, too many decades now."

The Santa Fe shooting, coming just over three months after 17 people were killed at Marjory Stoneman High School in Parkland, Florida, will intensify pressure on the administration to tighten gun laws.

After Parkland Mr Trump signalled a willingness to introduce fresh curbs - including stricter background checks and a possible ban on assault weapons – before rowing back following a meeting with the National Rifle Association.

Sheikh, 17, was named among the dead. The Pakistan Embassy in Washington, DC, identified hims as a victim of the shooting on Twitter.  A message posted by the embassy said that "our thoughts and prayers are with Sabika's family and friends”. 

The Pakistan Association of Greater Houston said on Facebook that Sheikh was due to go back home to Pakistan for Eid al-Fitr, a three-day holiday that marks the end of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan. "May Allah bless her soul and may she RIP," the statement said.

Tisdale was also killed. Her niece, Leia Olinde, said: "She was wonderful. She was just so loving. I've never met a woman who loved her family so much."

She said Tisdale was married to her husband for close to 40 years and that the two had three children and eight grandchildren.

Tisdale loved cooking and her house was the center for family gatherings, according to Ms Olinde.


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