Tag Archives: school shooting

Details Emerge Surrounding Santa Fe High School Shooting; Suspect Appears In Court

Santa Fe, TX— A 17-year-old high school student identified as Dimitrios Pagourtzis opened fire at the Houston-area Santa Fe High School with a shotgun and a handgun, killing 10 people and leaving another 14 people wounded – including a school police officer who confronted the suspect during the attack at Santa Fe High School.

The Associated Press reported that local hospitals confirmed a total of 14 people treated for injuries related to the shooting, with two listed in critical condition on Saturday at the University of Texas Medical Branch, according to a tweet from the hospital.

Pagourtzis yelled “surprise” before opening fire, according to Texas Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. Authorities said the suspected shooter, who is now in custody on murder charges, had made improvised explosive devices, including pipe bombs, a Molotov cocktail and pressure-cooker bombs, found in the school and at the suspect’s home.

Abbot said the alleged shooter obtained a shotgun and a .38-caliber handgun from his father, who legally owned them, to carry out the attack. The AP reported that Pagourtizis’ lawyers said the parents stated that “the guns were locked up and they did not know that their son was capable of violence.”

The AP report further noted:

Pagourtzis played on the junior varsity football team and was a member of a dance squad with a local Greek Orthodox church. Acquaintances described him as quiet and unassuming, an avid video game player who routinely wore a black trench coat and black boots to class.

The assailant’s homemade explosives included pipe bombs, at least one Molotov cocktail and pressure-cooker bombs similar to those used in the Boston Marathon attack, authorities said.

Investigators offered no motive. In a probable cause affidavit, however, authorities said the suspect admitted to the shooting.

The governor said the assailant intended to kill himself but gave up and told police that he did not have the courage to take his own life.

The suspect reportedly has no prior arrests or known confrontations with law enforcement. CNN reported that Pagourtzis admitted to authorities that he didn’t shoot people he liked and meant to kill the ones he’d targeted, stating “he did not shoot students he did like so he could have his story told,” according to an affidavit. Sadie Rodriguez, mother of deceased victim Shana Fisher, told the Los Angeles Times that prior to the shooting Fisher “had 4 months of problems from this boy” and that Pagourtzis “kept making advances on her and she repeatedly told him no.” Rodriguez added that after the advances from Pagourtzis became increasingly vigorous, Fisher confronted Pagourtzis, reportedly embarrassing him at school.

Valerie Martin, a teacher who had Pagourtzis in her language arts class in middle school, noted according to the New York Times that Pagourtzis “was quiet, but he wasn’t quiet in a creepy way,” and described him as “an introvert, not an extrovert.”

According to NBC News, fellow student Dustin Severin said that Pagourtzis was subjected to bullying— particularly from adults at the school. “He’s been picked on by coaches before, for smelling bad and stuff like that,” Severin said according to the report. “And he doesn’t really talk to very many people either. He keeps to himself.” The Santa Fe Independent School District argued that claims of Pagourtzis being bullied by coaches are false.

Pagourtzis made his initial court appearance Friday by video link from the Galveston County Jail in frony of Galveston County Magistrate Mark Henry, who said the suspect is cooperating with police. The alleged shooter, who is accused of capital murder of multiple people and aggravated assault on a public servant, was denied bail by Henry. USA Today reported that based upon a 2005 Supreme Court ruling, Pagourtzis will not face the death penalty if convicted.

Gov. Abbott said Pagourtzis wrote in journals of wanting to carry out such an attack and then to end his own life, while other students said that he was quiet and sometimes bullied. CNN reported that a second person was detained at the scene in relation to the shooting, who police had called a “person of interest,” and was being investigated as a possible accomplice. However, a Houston Chronicle report notes that Pagourtzis claimed that he acted alone.

Pagourtzis’ court appearance can be seen below.

Armed School Resource Officer Confronts Md. School Shooter, Stopping Attack

A school shooting at Great Mills High School in Great Mills, Maryland was cut short on Tuesday after armed school resource officer Deputy Blaine Gaskill confronted the gunman less than a minute after the start of the attack.

A 16-year-old female student who reportedly had a prior relationship with the gunman was critically wounded and is receiving treatment in an ICU, and a 14-year-old male student was also injured in the attack and is currently in stable condition, according to Fox News.

The gunman, 17-year-old student Austin Wyatt Rollins, was fatally shot during the confrontation and is currently the only fatality associated with the incident. He reportedly used a handgun in his attack.

“Our school resource officer was alerted to the event. He pursued the shooter, engaged the shooter, fired a round at the shooter. The shooter fired a round as well. In the hours and days to come, we’ll be able to determine if our school resource officer’s round struck the shooter,” said St. Mary’s County Sheriff Tim Cameron. Police are also investigating the possibility that Rollins might have committed suicide during the confrontation.

“[Deputy Gaskill] had to cover significant ground [to reach the shooter]. The premise is simple: You go to the sound of gunfire,” Sheriff Cameron added according to The Chicago Tribune.

Deputy Gaskill’s actions draw a stark contrast with those of Deputy Scot Peterson, the school resource officer who failed to confront a school shooter during the deadly February 14 Parkland, Fla. mass shooting which left 17 dead and 16 injured.

Md. Republican Gov. Larry Hogan said according to CNN, “[Deputy Gaskill] is a tough guy who apparently closed in very quickly and took the right kind of action. And while I think it’s still tragic, he may have saved other people’s lives.”

According to Southern Maryland News Online, Deputy Gaskill also previously made news in a July 26, 2016 incident in which, during a domestic disturbance call, he was confronted by an armed, inebriated individual who pointed a gun at him. Gaskill was able to take the suspect into custody without discharging his service weapon. The incident was captured on video on Gaskill’s body cam.

His restraint during that domestic disturbance call also paints a stark contrast to other recent high-profile and controversial use-of-force incidents in which police officers, claiming that they were afraid for their lives, had shot unarmed individuals, sparking a national conversation over when it is appropriate for police officers to shoot suspects.

Father of Parkland Victim Attacks MSM for “Polarizing” America

Andrew Pollack, the father of Meadow Pollack, lost his daughter during the February 14th shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Pollack spoke to Chris Wallace about the aftermath of the tragedy on Fox News Sunday; he focused specifically on criticizing the media for “polarizing” the incident and concentrating their attention on gun control.

Wallace: Andrew, when you were at the White House at that very raw and emotional moment, you said ‘look after 9/11 we fixed the situation, we made a lot harder for people to get onto planes with guns’. When you hear what Governor Scott just said, when you hear what President Trump is saying— would that fix the problem?

Pollack: It’s not going to be fixed because I just heard what you said. What you are focusing on, polarizing this event, the murder of these kids. You are talking about gun control. I just had to listen to you and Governor Scott talk about gun control.

Gun control is a big issue. No one in America is going to come together on gun control, Chris. We’re here— you didn’t say one thing about fixing it. The American people, we could get together on school safety, but when you polarize it, this event and every other media, we don’t care about gun control right now. That’s a big issue in the country and you are not going to get everyone together on it.

But we are going to get everyone together on fixing our schools and I just listen to you. So, I just listen to you. You didn’t talk— you didn’t mention one question to Governor Scott about what are we going to do about the security of our children? How are we going to do that?

But you’re just talking about gun control, which is going to just give you more ratings and every other media or event. My daughter is dead. I want to know our kids are going to school in Kentucky on Monday— how are those kids safe? How about bringing that up to the media? How about bringing that up to Governor Scott?

Not about guns. It’s not about guns now. Today, it’s not about guns. It’s about the safety in our schools.

And that’s what you ask Governor Scott about and I got to listen to that at my house. My kid is not here because the schools weren’t safe, that’s the main thing. If you go into a courthouse, the judge is safe. The stenographer is not worried someone is coming in with a gun because they can’t get in with a gun.

The American people, we just want our school safe. We don’t want to talk about guns right now.



Hundreds of Teachers Sign Up for Ohio Sheriff’s Concealed Carry Training

Hamilton, OH— Butler County, Ohio Sheriff Richard K. Jones, in response to the school shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, has reportedly begun offering free concealed carry classes and additional training for school teachers.

On February 18th he tweeted:

Based on a Facebook post on the Butler County Sheriff’s Office page, within 20 minutes posting his offer of free concealed carry classes, Jones received 50 emails.


By February 20, the number of requests for concealed carry training had reached a staggering 300, forcing Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones to announce that the limit for the class had been reached, according to NBC 5. Class dates and times have not yet been made public.

“People in the schools need to be trained with firearms, period,” the outspoken Sheriff Jones said. “Even if you hate guns, you need to know about guns if you’re in the schools.”

NBC 5 reports that currently in Butler County, the Edgewood School District is the only one that allows certain administrators to be armed. Jones said he will use the eight-hour concealed carry class to educate teachers about firearms and school shootings.

“We’re going to talk about school shootings. We’re going to talk about the different types of guns, and we’re going to make it a very interesting and very thoughtful class,” Jones said.

Additionally, Jones said he plans on discussing the benefits of allowing teachers to carry with other school districts, but stressed that that decision ultimately lies with the school board.

“If the school boards want to give the authority to teachers to be armed…[they] can do that, they have the authority to do it, but I’m going to do my part, and I assume I’m probably the only one in the state of Ohio that’s doing that – but something has to happen,” Jones noted.

While Jones acknowledged that he does not have the authority to allow teachers to be armed, it’s reported that wants to do his part in helping teachers be prepared if their school board makes the decision to allow armed teachers.

While certainly in the minority, there are numerous public schools in the U.S. that allow teachers and administrators to carry concealed firearms, with the idea that a warning of armed staff would provide a stronger deterrent than a “gun-free” zone sign.

Seattle Pacific University Student Tackles And Restrains Gunman During School Shooting

Seattle, WA- On Thursday afternoon, a man armed with a shotgun opened fire at Seattle Pacific University. The man walked into the Otto Miller Hall campus building at around 3:30 and quickly began shooting at several victims, wounding as many as 3 people and killing one.

As the gunman stopped to reload, Jon Meis, a student and building monitor, pepper sprayed the gunman before tackling him and pushing him to the ground. Other students rushed to Meis’ side and held the shooter down until police arrived. The police had initially sought more than one shooter, but they later reported that they were no longer searching for an additional suspect.

“There are a number of heroes in this,” Seattle assistant police chief Paul McDonagh said. “But for the great response by the people of Seattle Pacific, this incident might have been much more tragic.”

The shooter was identified as 26-year-old Aaron Ybarra, who is not a Seattle Pacific University student, according to McDonagh. Ybarra was arrested and booked at King County Jail for investigation of murder.

As is the case in many school shootings, the motive behind the shooting at Seattle Pacific is unclear. Zack McKinley, a friend of Ybarra, told the Seattle Times that the alleged shooter is “super happy and friendly. He’s an awesome guy, someone who would never let you down.”

According to McKinley, Ybarra had a well-rounded group of friends and recently had begun working long hours at a grocery store. “I’m really good at deciphering if someone’s got bad news or in trouble. I’m blown away by this,’’ said McKinley. “He called me yesterday and asked if I wanted to go fishing.”

Ybarra’s father, Ambrose Ybarra, is also bewildered by Thursday’s fatal incident. “We don’t know anything,’’ said Ambrose Ybarra. “We just hope he’s safe. I’m a family man. I just need to put my arms around my family now. We just need to sit down and talk.”

Students closest to Otto Miller Hall where Ybarra allegedly began shooting were the first to hear the gunshots.  “I heard a loud bang. At first I thought it was a chemistry project. My teacher thought that, too. Then I put my head to the door and I heard shouting. I decided, that was a gunshot, we need to lockdown,” said Blake Oliveira, a student who was in physics class when he realized what was going on.

Students across the university learned of the situation through a mass emergency text that read “Emergency! A campus lockdown has been initiated. This is not a drill.”

The area that surrounds Seattle Pacific University  is not known to be a high-crime location. Seattle police recorded 14 violent crimes in that area over the last four years.

“Today should have been a day of celebration at the end of the school year here at Seattle Pacific University. Instead, it’s a day of tragedy and of loss. Once again, the epidemic of gun violence has come to Seattle, an epidemic of gun violence that has haunted this nation,” said Seattle Mayor Ed Murray.

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BREAKING: Suspect Dead After Colorado High School Shooting

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This afternoon, a student allegedly open fired at a Colorado high school and then shot himself dead.

At this time, officials believe at least two students were injured as a result of the incident. One of those students is currently in critical condition at a local hospital.

The shooting took place at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, a suburb of Denver — not far from Columbine High School, where a school shooting took place in 1999.

Sheriff Grayson Robinson said the Centennial shooter was male, but would not disclose his identity. Robinson said, “We have not been able to locate a second suspect, but that’s part of our ongoing investigation.”

The sheriff said the suspected gunman initially entered the school to confront a specific teacher. That teacher was alerted of the situation and was able to exit to school before the suspect found her.

During and after the incident, dozens of students could be seen exiting Arapahoe High with their hands in the air. Worried parents rushed to the school grounds but were instructed to wait at a nearby church while students were pat down by police on the high school’s track field.

Arapahoe High School has 2,229 students and 70 classrooms. It is a part of the Littleton Public Schools system.

Today’s shooting took place one day before the first anniversary of the Newtown, Connecticut shooting which resulted in the death of 20 elementary school students.